.... calls on the Government to immediately bring forward funding for capital projects, particularly for schools, colleges, social housing, public transport and environmental works, all of which will create assets for the taxpayer and generate future income as well as countering recession in the short run.
During the debate, Vince Cable said...
Why is public investment so important in a recession? Partly because it creates employment. There is a big opportunity cost to the alternative of not investing: people remain unemployed. Some 100,000 construction workers have already been laid off in this recession. The figure was 300,000 at the peak of the last recession in the early 1990s, and there is a reasonable expectation that the number of unemployed construction workers in this recession will be even bigger than that.Indeed. And yet only four days later Nick Clegg wants to cut £3 billion out of capital expenditure by slashing the roads programme by 90%. A case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing? It would be interesting for an economist out there to calculate how many jobs would be lost by this irresponsible action.
I look forward to LibDem MPs and candidates explaining to their constituents why the bypass for which they campaigned won't be built, or why, for example, the last remaining stretch of single track of the A11 in Suffolk won't be dualled, or why the A47 in Norfolk won't be upgraded. There will be many other examples.
Essentially, the Lib Dems advocated additional expenditure on capital projects in a recession because it ‘creates jobs’ and ‘leaves us with an asset’. I am not quite sure how this approach is consistent with scrapping roads building.