Sunday 1 March 2020 / 9:04 AM John McDonnell

Shadow Chancellor slams Tories on decade-long gaping hole in infrastructure investment

The Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has challenged the Conservative Government on a £192 billion hole in infrastructure spending that has massively weakened the UK’s flood defences, and left bus services and the rail network in tatters.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell MP, responding to analysis showing a £192 billion Tory infrastructure investment hole, said:

“The Tories have systematically levelled down this country’s infrastructure over ten years.

“Governments in which the Prime Minister and Chancellor have been ministers have left our flood defences, bus network, and rail infrastructure crumbling and decrepit.

“The Government will boast at the Budget about infrastructure but the money pledged in the Tory manifesto will go nowhere near what is needed to fill this gaping hole in investment.”


Notes to Editors:

  • The Conservative Manifesto pledged that public sector net investment would not average more than 3% of GDP (see at p. 7), highlighting that infrastructure spending of 3% of GDP is an appropriate sum given current needs.
  • New Labour analysis of House of Commons figures shows that following public sector net investment of 3% of GDP in 2008-09 and 2.9% in 2009-10, public sector net investment has averaged just 2% between 2010 and this year, in the years following the financial crisis when investment was needed. Had public sector net investment reached 3% of GDP, £191.6 billion further would have been committed to UK infrastructure. Full public sector net investment figures are below:

Source: OBR, Public finances databank, 6 February 2020