POLITICS
22/10/2013 07:51 BST | Updated 22/10/2013 07:53 BST

Treasury Infrastructure Guarantees Used Once In 15 Months

George Osborne, right, British Chancellor of the Exchequer, walks with Danny Alexander, left, the Treasury Chief Secretary, in central London, Wednesday Sept. 8, 2010. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
AP
George Osborne, right, British Chancellor of the Exchequer, walks with Danny Alexander, left, the Treasury Chief Secretary, in central London, Wednesday Sept. 8, 2010. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

George Osborne has come under fire as official figures showed that the Treasury's scheme to boost job creation and economic growth by underwriting infrastructure projects has been used just once in fifteen months.

The Chancellor launched the UK Guarantee Scheme in June 2012, which aims to underwrite £40 billion of investments up to 2016. However fifteen months later, only one scheme has been helped, as £75 million was awarded to the the Drax coal-fired power plant to help it convert to biomass.

Chris Leslie, Labour's shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, said: "After three wasted years this government is still failing to deliver on infrastructure. This is an appalling record.

“Less than a fifth of one per cent of the promised Treasury guarantees have been awarded and to just one project. After three wasted years this government is still failing to deliver on infrastructure."

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The guarantee scheme's funds are not awarded until the projects have undergone due diligence, which could take months or years to achieve.

Forty projects, worth £33 billion, are now at the stage called "prequalification", meaning they are eligible for the scheme but have to go through further due diligence and checks.

Danny Alexander, chief secretary to the Treasury, said: “Getting our infrastructure right means we can be globally competitive, boost growth and create jobs across the UK. What we see today is the extent to which the government is reaching out to help the private sector build Britain’s key infrastructure.

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