Scottish Liberal Democrat transport spokesperson Mike Rumbles MSP has called for clarity over the predicted £245 million worth of so called ‘savings’ made on the Forth Replacement Crossing project.
Budget predictions made at the start of the project assumed an average inflation of 5.3%, over the construction period. However, lower than expected UK inflation, around 1.9% on average, has resulted in huge ‘savings’ for the project.
Commenting Mr Rumbles said:
“It’s all smoke and mirrors. The Scottish Government have applauded themselves again and again for delivering this fixed budget contract for the bridge on time and under budget. In fact, the initial timetable has been significantly pushed back and budget was grossly overestimated.
“Nearly all the so called ‘savings’ are due to a lower than average inflation, rather than ‘robust risk management and strong project governance’ reported to the parliament and committee.
“I have asked the Project Director to confirm my findings in writing to see where the truth of the matter lies. I have called for a full breakdown of the figures, adjusted for the true inflation rate, and I will be holding the government to account over their deliberate attempt to mislead the public over both the timescale and the cost of this project.”