Local MSP Jackie Baillie has urged the SNP Government to come clean on the extra delays and costs of capital projects after the new-build Our Lady and St Patrick’s High School was caught up in a row over funding.
Officials have ruled that that the SNP’s scheme for funding projects like OLSP breaks strict European laws on government borrowing and spending. These rules date back to September 2010 but there appears to have been little action by the SNP Government to meet these new requirements.
Dozens of schools, hospitals and roads across Scotland have been hit by delays, including OLSP, while the Scottish Government restructures the way it funds capital projects. SNP Finance Minister John Swinney refused to give details on the length of the delays and increased cost to taxpayers in response to questioning from Jackie Baillie.
As a result of the ruling the SNP has admitted that it will have to increase private sector involvement to 80% in capital projects, giving them more control and burdening future generations with increased levels of debt.
OLSP has not yet been signed off by the Scottish Government and further delays will have a negative impact on the education of our children.
“The only barrier to getting on with the construction of Our Lady & St. Patrick’s is the complete mess the SNP has made of its accounts.
“John Swinney might want to dismiss this as a minor accounting change but the reality is that the SNP Government’s whole infrastructure investment strategy has been thrown into doubt.
“When families in Dumbarton Vale of Leven and Helensburgh are having to wait longer for their new school to be built isn’t just some technical detail -; it’s people’s lives that are being affected.
“We need some honesty from the SNP Government about exactly how long these delays will last and how much more the taxpayer will have to fork out. When the SNP were in opposition they promised to bring down the cost of PFI borrowing. Now we are faced with the prospect of forcing our children to pay unprecedented levels of debt for decades to co