Devolved nations 'need more money'

First published in Business Daily

LEADERS of the three devolved administrations have made a fresh plea to Chancellor George Osborne for more capital investment cash.

Such a move would be an "immediate and targeted stimulus" for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, according to Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond.

Wales's First Minister Carwyn Jones, and Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness joined Mr Salmond to make the plea to the UK Chancellor before he makes his Autumn Statement.

The statement gives Mr Osborne "an ideal opportunity" to "give an immediate and substantial stimulus to capital investment", they said.

They added that appropriate amounts of funding for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will "support the recovery and help bolster economic confidence".

Each of the four leaders has employed "a variety of innovative measures" to increase funding for major public infrastructure projects but these cannot "fully offset" the cuts from Westminster or their impact in the three countries.

"An immediate and targeted boost to public sector capital investment will support jobs immediately and help provide the infrastructure necessary for long-term economic growth," they said.

The Scottish Government has repeatedly called on the Westminster Government to provide extra money for infrastructure projects to try to boost the economy.

"Scotland, together with our friends in Northern Ireland and Wales, is suffering the impact of unprecedented cuts to our capital budget by the UK Government," said Mr Salmond.

"This afternoon's Autumn Statement provides the UK Chancellor with an ideal opportunity to invest in growth, support the economic recovery and help bolster economic confidence."

© Press Association 2012

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