By a Newsnet reporter
The LibDem Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, has been accused of staggering hypocrisy over transport investment in Scotland after he claimed that investment was going to the central belt at the expense of the Highlands.
Mr Alexander claimed that projects like the Forth Crossing were taking transport funding away from the north of Scotland.
However the SNP has hit back by pointing out that it was Mr Alexander’s own party leader who announced that fast tracked borrowing powers for Scotland should be spent on the new bridge. In June this year the Dundee Courier reported: “The Scottish Government is to be given early access to borrowing powers to help fund the new Forth crossing, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has announced.”
Speaking at the International Association of Transport Professionals Conference in Aviemore Mr Alexander also claimed that transport investment being taken away from north of Scotland roads.
However official figures show that over a four year period the SNP has invested more than £50m on roads in the north. In contrast, during the eight years of Labour and LibDem control only £11 million was spent.
Commenting, Highlands & Islands MSP John Finnie said:
“This is exactly the type of behaviour that has seen Highland voters desert the LibDems in their thousands.
“His contempt for the facts and the truth is only matched by the staggering and shameless hypocrisy that he thinks he can get away with saying one thing in the Highlands and another in London.
“Since 2007, the SNP has invested more than £50m on improving the A9 between Perth and Inverness alone. Yet during the eight years of Labour and LibDem control only £11 million was spent – and in their last four years LibDem Ministers were in charge of transport.
“As for the Forth Crossing it was Danny Alexander’s party leader Nick Clegg who, in response to the SNP’s election victory, had a photo call organised at the Forth Road Bridge to announce that the Scottish Government would be given early access to borrowing powers for ‘the construction of a new Forth bridge’.
“Danny Alexander has no leg to stand on when it comes to public spending since he stood on a pledge that the LibDems would not follow the Tories into accelerating cuts yet then went into government with the Tories to do just that.
“Danny Alexander’s attempts to mislead people means the LibDems are fast becoming a by-word for hypocrisy and dishonesty by continuing to practise such double standards.”