Best way to spend £50 billion

24 September 2013

Ed Balls, the Shadow Chancellor, in his keynote speech to conference about stability and prosperity during the plenary session on the One Nation economy, called into question the Labour Party’s commitment to HS2.

He said: ‘We support investment in better transport links for the future. And we continue to back the idea of a new North-South rail link.

‘But under this government the High Speed 2 project has been totally mismanaged and the costs have shot up to £50 billion.

‘David Cameron and George Osborne have made clear they will go full steam ahead with this project, no matter how much the costs spiral up and up. They seem willing to put their own pride and vanity above best value for money for the taxpayer.

‘Labour will not take this irresponsible approach. So, let me be clear, in tough times, when there is less money around and a big deficit to get down, there will be no blank cheque from me as a Labour Chancellor for this project or for any project.

‘Because the question is not just whether a new high speed line is a good idea or bad idea, but whether it is the best way to spend £50 billion for the future of our country.’

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