Spending is needed on NI infrastructure

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The executive has no serious vision or plan for the NI economy and our current infrastructure is not fitting for a modern 21st century economy.

Commuters and small businesses suffer daily bottlenecks on the Sydenham bypass and York Road on the Westlink. With extra money for capital spending from the Chancellor’s autumn statement these projects must start now. A project to remove the traffic lights and improve that junction at Dee Street was approved in 2009.With the extra money this must be given immediate priority

The Executive has a disastrous record in delaying capital investment in infrastructure. They have let us down by pushing vanity projects such as the A5 and the Carlingford bridge and failing to deliver on the likes of the Police College. This extra money from George Osborne is their opportunity to ‘get real’ in prioritising infrastructure and competitiveness.

The Conservative government has confirmed significant real-terms increases to Northern Ireland Executive capital budgets. Funding available for infrastructure investment via the block grant through to 2020-21 will rise by 12% in real terms, meaning over £600 million more for roads, etc.

The Executive must now act decisively, local construction has suffered hugely during the recession compounded by the dysfunctional Executive at Stormont. Spending money on construction will help tackle competitiveness problems like high energy and transport costs which cost us so many manufacturing jobs and prevent more foreign direct investment.

We need a pipeline of projects and a timetable and costed plan on how to use this money over the next five years.

Johnny Andrews, NI Conservatives