Page last updated at 18:29 GMT, Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Scottish Parliament

Finance Secretary John Swinney promised a "building boom" in Scotland through £50 million investment in new affordable housing as part of £205m of capital investment announced on 19 December 2012.

Mr Swinney was announcing how he plans to spend extra money diverted to Scotland in the Chancellor's Autumn Statement.

The minister said the investment would support 2,000 jobs for Scotland during his ministerial statement on 19 December 2012.

He said: "In total, the programme I announce today, therefore, amounts to £205 million."

The minister went on to say: "One of our highest priorities is taking action on housing in Scotland, which is why this government is allocating a further £50 million to affordable housing.

"This is our fourth tranche of additional funding for housing this year, with additions already made in February, June, September and now. We have therefore allocated nearly an extra £200m to housing this year, demonstrating that where we have an opportunity to invest, this government does exactly that."

In closing his statement, Mr Swinney said: "The changes I am announcing today - which will deliver a building boom for Scotland - will be reflected in the Budget Bill and I will welcome debate about these proposals as part of the budget process in the new year."

In his Autumn Budget Statement Chancellor George Osborne said Scotland would receive its share of an additional £5bn he wanted to see spent on buildings and infrastructure.

Mr Swinney told MSPs this was welcome, but said: "Taking into account the budgetary impact of the Chancellor's Autumn Statement, by 2014-15 we can now expect the Scottish Government's capital budget to fall by around 26% in real terms compared to 2010-11."

Labour's finance spokesperson Ken Macintosh said "everyone likes to play Santa at Christmas", but questioned what the impact of this announcement would be on Scotland's economy, asking how shovel ready the list actually was and when the first shovel would hit the ground.

Mr Macintosh also called on the Scottish government to "avoid procurement disasters" like those of the Forth Replacement Crossing project.

Mr Swinney said in relation to the impact on the economy, the estimate was that the investment would result in 2000 jobs across Scotland.

He said a "significant" number of shovel ready projects would commence this financial year and went on to say that it was the Scottish government's "effective and powerful procurement" arrangements for the Forth Replacement Crossing that allowed the release of an extra £25m of resources for other capital projects.

Gavin Brown, the Scottish Conservative finance spokesperson, said he welcomed that the money given by the UK treasury to Scotland would lead to a "building boom" in Mr Swinney's words and also stressed it was when the shovels went in the ground, not when the projects were announced, that really mattered.


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