Labour calls for reviews of Forth crossing contract

The new Forth crossing is to replace the current Forth road bridge

SCOTTISH Labour Leader Johann Lamont has called on the First Minister to order an immediate review of the Forth crossing contract.

It has emerged that Scottish businesses have seen just £20 million of the £1.6 billion being spent on the new Forth Road Bridge while £790 million has gone to overseas competitors in Spain, Poland and China.

Ms Lamont believes the Scottish Government has disadvantaged Scottish companies by making the contracts too large to bid for, rather than breaking the project into smaller contracts. This, she says, means the Scottish Government has failed to ensure Scotland gets long term benefits from the biggest public project in a generation.

She said: “The Forth crossing is the biggest public project in Scottish history and is central to our attempt to sustain and grow Scottish businesses and create much needed jobs.

“It cannot be value for money to the Scottish tax payer to send the profits, business creation, research and development and high quality jobs that a contract of this size abroad.

“The First Minister has no excuses – the Labour government in Wales has already shown that these contracts can be drawn up to benefit local businesses.

“The whole point of bringing forward capital spending, the whole point of the Forth Road Bridge contract was to get Scotland working. Instead, the First Minister has spent £800 million and not created a single job.

“I never thought I would see the day when Scottish steel workers were having to ask David Cameron, a Tory Prime Minister, to protect them from the actions of a Scottish First Minister.

“I have asked the First Minister to order an immediate review of the contract – our legacy from this project must be more than a bridge.”