Scots Govt ‘won’t deliver £26bn infrastructure plan’

Stephen Boyle, Auditor General for Scotland

The Scottish Government no longer expects to have enough money to deliver all its planned £26 billion investment in public sector infrastructure, according to Audit Scotland.

“Growing the economy and delivering high quality public services relies on infrastructure like roads, railways, hospitals and other buildings,” said Audit Scotland.

“But a combination of reduced capital budgets, higher costs and increased maintenance requirements have left ministers with difficult decisions to make on prioritising capital spending.

“This includes stopping or pausing planned projects.

“The Scottish Government’s investment plan focuses on driving inclusive economic growth, enabling the transition to net-zero emissions, and building resilient and sustainable places.

“But it is not always clear how the Scottish Government is directing funding to these three infrastructure investment priorities, or how they will contribute to reducing greenhouse gases.

“Better data on the condition, occupancy and cost of the wider public estate is needed to ensure buildings are used more efficiently as part of Scottish Government plans to reform public services.”

Stephen Boyle, Auditor General for Scotland, said: “Scottish Government spending decisions on infrastructure will affect public services, and ministers need to be transparent about how they are made.

“Efficient use of the public estate in the future is key to reforming public services, but the Scottish Government needs better infrastructure data to inform its planning.”