THE SCOTTISH Government has published £33 billion plans to invest in infrastructure over the next five years – but ministers have been accused of being “out of transformative ideas” and falling short of what's needed to kickstart a recovery from the pandemic.

Transport and Infrastructure Secretary, Michael Matheson, announced the five-year blueprint to MSPs – including £2.3 billion for healthcare facilities, £2 billion on schools featuring a new Gaelic facility and city centre primary school in Glasgow.

The SNP’s plans also include £1.6 billion over the next five years to decarbonise heat in buildings.

The spending plan will also include an extra £600 million for the R100 rural broadband programme which has faced delays.

Around £1.5 billion will be spent on transport including £550 million to decarbonise rail services and more than £500 million for bus priority schemes.

The Scottish Government will also spend £150 million on flood risk management and £12 million for coastal change adaptation as part of efforts to mitigate the impacts of the climate emergency.

THe SNP said the plans would support 45,000 jobs.

Mr Matheson said: “Since we published our draft IIP (infrastructure investment plan) in September, we have received broad support for our world-leading approach and have increased the total spend by £2 billion to further boost our economic and green recovery from the pandemic.

“Our overall focus is on driving inclusive economic growth, the transition to net zero, and building resilient and sustainable places.

“This package of significant investment will support economic confidence in every corner of Scotland and send out a clear message that we will continue to do all we can to secure our recovery from coronavirus. In the process we will also be supporting over 45,000 jobs and building a strong future for Scotland."

But Scottish Conservative transport and infrastructure spokesperson, Graham Simpson, warned that ministers were “tired and out of transformative ideas”.

He added: "We’re still in the midst of a global pandemic - people across Scotland are worried about the impact this is having on jobs and their communities.

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“The capital spending does not feel adequate or ambitious enough to rebound and rebuild Scotland’s economy from the deepest recession on record.”

Mr Simpson raised questions over the delivery of previous capital investment commitments, calling for there “not be a repeat of other fiascos”.

He added: “The Scottish Government’s track-record on delivering major infrastructure projects has been woeful – with unopened hospitals, overdue and over budget ferries and a supposed state-of-the-art bridge that keeps being closed due to problems with ice.”

Colin Smyth, Scottish Labour’s transport spokesperson, added: “At a time increasing investment in our infrastructure will be more important than ever if we are to recover from the pandemic, drive Scotland out of the deepest recession on record and deliver a just transition to a green economy, it is disappointing to see there are planned cuts in capital spending in crucial areas such as rail and local government and so few projects that appear to be shovel-ready.

“When it comes to delivering infrastructure projects that are on time and on budget, we know the Scottish Government’s track record has been woeful.

“Three quarters of the projects in the existing infrastructure plan agreed in 2015 have suffered delays of the equivalent of 64 years and costs rose in nearly half of those projects, costing the taxpayers an extra £1billion.”