Video by hmtreasuryuk on YouTube.
Yesterday, we set out a Spending Round that delivers Liberal Democrat priorities on investment and improving our public services while making responsible choices to deal with the financial problems Labour left us. It demonstrated that the Liberal Democrats will remain firm in our commitment to tackling the deficit, but fair in the way we go about it. Our number one priority in Government has been to fix the economic mess we inherited from Labour.
Today I have set out how we will invest in our country’s economic future by creating balanced growth and delivering lasting prosperity. I have announced the most comprehensive, ambitious and long-lasting capital investment plans this country has ever known.
In doing so we are putting long term priorities before short term political pressures and we are ending the culture of short-termism that plagued so many of our predecessors.
Today I set out our plans for over £100 billion of this for the infrastructure of our country.
- The biggest public housing programme for over twenty years – 165,000 affordable homes over 3 years, a higher number of houses than Labour ever managed in 13 years in power.
- The largest programme of rail investment since Victorian times, including committing funding to High Speed 2 that will bring two-thirds of people in northern England within 2 hours of the capital.
- The greatest investment in our roads since the 1970s, adding two lanes to the busiest motorways, resurfacing up to 3,700 lane miles of the national road network every year, providing nearly £6 billion over the next Parliament to Local Authorities to help them maintain the local road network.
- Unlocking massive investment in cleaner energy, to power our economy forwards by providing stability and certainty for investment in clean energy.
Let me be clear though, these are not easy choices. We have made some painful choices to get our country back on the right path because we understand that there is no easy way to create jobs and prosperity. As a result, we are making good progress, the deficit is down, and jobs are up. We’ve helped create more than a million jobs, now we want to help create a million more. This announcement means jobs building Britain for years to come.
As Liberal Democrats we understand that Britain needs an education system that stays ahead of our competitors’ but we also understand that what parents want is a good school, nearby, that their kids can get in to and that is in good shape. So today I have announced that we are re-building 261 of the worst schools, providing £10bn to clear the urgent backlog of schools in need of repair and investment, and investing to create a million new school places in a decade. A stronger economy in a fairer society enabling everyone to get on in life.
Liberal Democrats also understand that we need to repair the decaying road network, the overcrowded railway system and to deal with an energy sector which is losing capacity quicker than it can adopt new technologies. And to tackle all of these long term challenges, today I have set out long-term investments that will help rebalance the economy, create jobs and support growth.
Importantly all of this at a price we can afford to pay without adding a single pound to our borrowing forecast. Investing in stronger communities, investing in better infrastructure, investing in new sources of energy.
This is an ambitious long-term plan to build an infrastructure of which Britain can be proud, and in doing so help to build a stronger economy in a fairer society, where everyone can get on in life.