David Cameron vows to boost infrastructure projects

David Cameron The prime minister says there is cause for optimism over the economy

David Cameron has promised an "all-out mission" to kick-start infrastructure projects and revive the economy.

Writing in the Financial Times, the PM said he had given the go-ahead for two power plants in Yorkshire that would create 1,000 construction jobs.

Meanwhile, his deputy Nick Clegg announced which firms in England would benefit from the £950m final instalment of the regional growth fund.

Labour says neither announcement represents new investment.

Mr Cameron admitted in the Financial Times that the eurozone crisis was having a "chilling effect" on global growth and he warned there were "no short-cuts to success".

Broadband jobs

But he urged people to be optimistic, pointing to growing trade with India and China, and warned that pessimism and fear "can become self-fulfilling prophecies".

Mr Cameron spelled out a three-point plan based on confronting Britain's debts, improving competitiveness and building global trade.

Start Quote

This does not amount to the significant plan for jobs and growth Britain's economy desperately needs right now”

End Quote Chuka Umunna Shadow Business Secretary

"I am confident that we can both resolve the crises at hand and come through them with an economy that is stronger and fundamentally fairer," he wrote.

As well as approving power plants at Ferrybridge, West Yorkshire, and Thorpe Marsh, near Doncaster, Mr Cameron welcomed news that BT will complete its roll-out of superfast broadband by 2014 - generating work for 500 more engineers.

He said more infrastructure announcements could be expected over the coming months.

Meanwhile, Mr Clegg says the remainder of the £1.4bn regional growth fund cash will help create or safeguard "hundreds of thousands of jobs".

He told BBC Radio 4's Today that every pound of government money given to companies would bring £6 of private sector investment "providing more bang for your buck".

Ed Miliband: "The government's plans are too little, too late, because we've got a perfect storm in our economy"

Mr Clegg said the coalition government was seeking to "rewire the British economy" and cut the past "over-reliance of firms on decision makers in Whitehall".

In a written statement to Parliament, Business Secretary Vince Cable said there had been 492 bids for £3.3bn funding. A panel chaired by Lord Heseltine helped decide on the 119 successful bids for the £950m available.

Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna accused the prime minister of being "out of touch" and said the government was failing to address a lack of economic growth.

He said the "long-delayed funding" represented a two-thirds cut, with one year's budget of the scrapped regional development agencies being paid out over three years.

"Power stations already in the pipeline are finally being given the green light, but no investment is actually being brought forward," he said.

"This does not amount to the significant plan for jobs and growth Britain's economy desperately needs right now."


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  • rate this

    Comment number 285.

    If we ever do get infrastructure improvements: DO NOT employ expensive consultancies and multinationals. Give the little and local guy have a chance. Spread the work amongst the UK workers and entrepreneurs. Invest in all of us by investing in UK employers !! Keep things simple and cut out all of the irrelevant focus groups, bumf churners and marketing parasites. Keep it lean and keen.

  • rate this

    Comment number 62.

    Only 12 months later than needed.
    The real question is how much of this money will be spent on endless committees deciding to review previous committee decisions, only to appoint other comittees to decide how best to review the previous committees programme for non delivery.

    This money will achieve nothing

  • rate this

    Comment number 52.

    I hope he can pull it off but he needs to look at how the contractors hire labour.
    When two nuclear power stations were built near us they imported most of the labour and the locals had little chance of employment.

  • rate this

    Comment number 33.

    This sounds similar to Roosevelt's new deal after the great depression, create projects and basically get that heavy concrete ball that is the economy rolling again.

  • rate this

    Comment number 23.

    I am confused? These projects were going ahead months ago, or have I been dreaming. Since the present government canceled funding to the heavy engineering company in the north, for state of the art break presses for items such as the nuclear industry requires. So the headlines will be made in Europe/overseas and assembled in the UK such as a bricking trowel I bought sometime ago.


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