Researchers suggest up to half of Scotland’s economic growth could be due to public sector building…
According to the official figures, Scotland’s economy grew by 1.9 per cent in the year to June. Researchers from the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (Spice) have suggested this increase was driven by public and private construction, which accounted for around two-thirds of all economic growth.
Spice said: “Around two thirds of GDP growth between Q2 2014 and Q2 2015 can be attributed to construction growth.
“The question is how much of this is identifiable as public construction. We can’t say from the actual GDP figures.
“There is another source of data, however, which may give an indication of a private/public split in construction output.
“The ONS produces construction output data by region. Scottish figures show that between Q2 2014 and Q2 2015 the total value of construction output in Scotland increased by £716 million.
“Of this, the value of public housing and infrastructure output accounted for 75 per cent of this increase.
“A conservative estimate would therefore be that between a third and a half of overall GDP growth between Q2 2014 and Q2 2015 can be attributed to public housing and infrastructure investment.”
Convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Finance Committee Kenneth Gibson said: “That this level of growth has been secured through public investment in the face of a 25 per cent cut to Scotland’s capital budget by the Tories is testament to the hard work of Nicola Sturgeon and John Swinney in government – and shows exactly what can be achieved by a government willing to invest, rather than one only willing to cut.
“The Scotland Bill as it stands leaves far too many key economic powers in the hands of George Osborne and a Tory government still wedded to their ideological commitment to austerity.
“But as these figures show, the SNP have always used every lever at our disposal to grow our economy and create more and better jobs here in Scotland, and we will continue to do so with each and every new power which comes our way.”