Revealed yesterday where ten billion of either cuts or suspended commitments. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/politics/10341863.stm. Having read through them they seem to fall into two categories. Regeneration spending: I.E Sheffield Retail Quarter and youth reemployment schemes I.E Two year Jobseeker's Guarantee: £515m.
It is odd, however, to note all the discussion in Parliament and on the news focuses on one decisions re redevelopment of North Tees and Hartlepool hospital: £450m.Please note this is a redevelopment of an existing hospital and not, not building a badly needed new hospital. I cannot really see why all the focus is on this when the focus should be one why the government has merely suspended half these plans and not cut them all.
It seems to me that the last government was so busy acting as a proxy bank for half the suspended shames and the current government should not do the same even in better economic times. Let us take the Sheffield retail quarter development as an example and ask ourselves a very simple question. Is it really the governments jobs to build and fund shopping centres, to drive out small business and diversity from the high street?
Now some will argue that this will bring much needed jobs and taxes, excreta. This maybe, however, a privately funded project based on sound business would have done the same without requiring government funds or tying the government into the finical successes of a shopping centre. The same is true for the Sheffield Forgemasters International Limited and the University Enterprise Capital Fund and Leeds Holt Park Well-being Centre. These are projects which the private sector should have funded from the start.
Therefore we seem to have a government that instead of fixing the issue of private sector investment, instead of tackling banks investing our money into risky and isolated shares and investment projects and encouraging them to invest in British business as they should have done. Instead act as a pseudo bank at our cost.
My point here is simple this government need to recognise, not merely freeze, the last government’s errors. Half these projects deserve or should be able to receive private sector funds and if this is not happening the government need to mend the underlying issue and build into the finical system a benefit from banks investing in infrastructure programs and back into the British economy. Not to act like a bank.