Missing billion from Salmond’s flagship building programme

12 Sep 2013

Ruth Davidson MSP

Alex Salmond today failed to explain why his government has been unable to deliver vital building projects worth a billion pounds.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson pressed the First Minister on why yesterday’s budget statement did not mention another reduction in spending on the SNP’s flagship non-profit distribution (NPD) scheme.

The Scottish Government previously announced that it would invest £686million in new schools, hospitals and roads for the 2013-14 financial year.

But, buried in their draft budget are figures showing this pledge has now been downgraded to just £185million.

When the NPD scheme was launched in 2010, the SNP promised to spend up to £500million in the first two years on building projects in communities across Scotland, but spent only £20million.

That means in the past three years, Alex Salmond has failed to spend £984million on his NPD scheme to deliver new facilities for communities, which would have given the construction industry a much-needed boost.

Ruth has challenged the First Minister on several occasions in the chamber to explain why he is failing on major building developments.

Alex Salmond has previously blamed delays with the Aberdeen bypass and Borders rail project for his failure to deliver numerous construction projects.

But this was dismissed by the Scottish Futures Trust – the organisation tasked with implementing NPD.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson MSP said:

“Alex Salmond made a big fanfare about delivering more than a billion pounds of investment on new schools, hospitals and roads, but has failed spectacularly.

“His government has come up short by more than £900million, letting communities down up and down the country.

“The First Minister keeps promising jobs tomorrow, but is failing to deliver today.

“It is sheer incompetence.

“People are getting sick and tired of his feeble excuses and his continual attempts to spin away his government’s failures.

“The people of Scotland deserve better than his hollow promises.

“I will continue to press the First Minister on why his much heralded NPD scheme has been unable to deliver vital infrastructure projects across the country.”


Original estimate
Current estimate
Planned expenditure 2011-12 figures letter from John Swinney to Finance Committee, 24 January 2011.
Planned expenditure years 2012-13 & 2013-14 figures from attached figures provided to Gavin Brown from the Scottish Futures Trust in September 2011.
Actual expenditure 2011-12 & 2013-14 obtained from SPICE November 2011.
Actual expenditure 2013-14 Scottish Government Draft Budget 2014-15 Annex B p173 (link)
The Scottish Conservatives have consistently criticised the SNP for its failure over NPD, and the subsequent denials of its problems: