5 Dec 2012
Scotland’s hard-pressed construction sector will receive nearly £400 million in additional funds following announcements made as part of the Autumn Statement.
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said an extra £394 million would be provided for major capital projects like schools and hospitals.
Scottish Conservative finance spokesman Gavin Brown MSP said:
“This is a fantastic boost for a sector that has been repeatedly battered, both by the Scottish Government and the global economic crisis.
“However, with this cash injection, hopefully it will see a tremendous difference.
“It is now up to the SNP to show the projects it claims are shovel-ready are in a position to go ahead.”
Today’s Autumn Statement also revealed both Aberdeen and Perth would become “super connected” cities, delivering superfast broadband and increased wi-fi cover, as part of a nationwide £50 million investment.
Households and businesses north of the border will also see other boosts as part of UK-wide measures.
Around 2.2 million Scots will benefit from the increase in personal allowance, which will see another 21,000 brought out of income tax altogether.
And the planned 3p rise in fuel duty has been scrapped, bringing a welcome boost for motorists, while the state pension will be increased by 2.5 per cent.
Businesses will benefit from a further one per cent cut in the main rate of corporation tax, down to 21 per cent by 2014, as well as a ten-fold increase in the Additional Investment Allowance, from £25,000 to £250,000, which will provide a tax-break for businesses to spend cash on new equipment.
Mr Brown added:
“This Autumn Statement will benefit people and businesses across Scotland.
“The scrapping of fuel duty increase will make a huge difference to motorists across the country.
“The increase of the state pension and bringing so many people out of income tax will also mean a genuine positive impact on the pockets of more than one million people.
“For business, we will see a reduction in corporation tax meaning the UK will have the lowest rate of any major western economy.
“The increase in funding for capital projects will have obvious benefits, as will the massive rise in the annual investment allowance for small and medium enterprises.
“All these plus points have been achieved while reducing the national deficit against the backdrop of a severe global financial crisis.”