Ruth Maguire MSP has welcomed the Scottish Government’s publication of its £24 billion Draft Infrastructure Investment Plan (IIP) which aims to support tens of thousands of jobs.

Covering the five year period between 2021-22 to 2025-26, the Plan will help stimulate Scotland’s green economic recovery from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

It includes investment to decarbonise business, industry and buildings, the provision of new health facilities and schools and support for manufacturing innovation.

Following the Plan’s announcement in a statement to the Scottish Parliament by Infrastructure Secretary Michael Matheson, Ms Maguire asked what measures were included in the plan to tackle inequality and economic exclusion.

Michael Matheson said: “Tackling inequality is one of the central parts that’s contained within the Infrastructure Investment Plan and a number of the strategic projects which will be supported over the course of the next five years.

“In the very near future we will have the 2040 housing plan which will set out our ambition to make sure that everyone who requires to have access to decent housing within Scotland are able to do so.

“Also the wire economic benefits that can come from creating greater employment within the Scottish economy help to make sure that we support people to get into employment in order to tackle poverty and provide good quality, green jobs during this particularly challenging time.”

Providing further comment, the SNP MSP for Cunninghame South said: “Infrastructure investment done well can help our communities thrive, economically, socially and environmentally.

“The draft IIP for the next five years will help the economic recovery from the pandemic in North Ayrshire by providing good quality social housing as well as other investment in research and business innovation.

“The Plan aims to invest heavily in our towns and supports the Scottish Government’s plans to transition to net zero carbon emissions as part of a green recovery for North Ayrshire, and indeed, throughout Scotland.”

Ruth’s question can be viewed below:

The Draft IIP includes:

– more than £8 billion for environmental sustainability and the transition to net zero emissions, including £250 million to support 18,000 hectares of forestry and restoring peatlands

– almost £5 billion boosting inclusive economic growth, including £500 million to extend full fibre broadband to businesses and households in rural areas and £30 million for the National Islands Plan

– more than £11 billion for our cities, towns, villages and rural areas, including £275 million to revitalise town centres and nearly £2 billion on health infrastructure and equipment

Further projects will be added to the Draft IIP when their procurement plans are sufficiently advanced. It may also be possible to bring more schemes forward after the UK Government publishes it Comprehensive Spending Review, which will clarify the Scottish Government’s budget for future capital investment.

The Draft Infrastructure plan can be viewed online at the Scottish Government website.

Finalised infrastructure plans will be prepared later this year following a period of consultation on the Draft IIP.

The Plan accepts the Infrastructure Commission for Scotland’s recommendations on the strategic investment priorities required to achieve an inclusive, net zero emissions economy in Scotland.

The Draft IIP details how the Scottish Government will deliver its £33.5 billion National Infrastructure Mission (NIM), which will support an estimated 45,000 jobs. Apart from infrastructure, the NIM also covers investment in research, business innovation, capitalising the new Scottish National Investment Bank and capital funding to local government.

Investing for Jobs: Capital Spending Review Framework 2021-22 to 2025-26, outlines how the spending plans contained in the NIM and Draft IIP are affordable, prudent and realistic. Detailed capital budget allocations will be set out later, likely alongside the Scottish Budget 2021-22