UKIP put cancelling HS2 as a central plank of Manifesto

UKIP have today launched their manifesto, with scrapping HS2 being a central plank of it. Part of the reason for that is their claim that unlike other parties’ manifestos, this one is fully costed and verified, and to make that work HS2 has to be cancelled and the money spent elsewhere:

“Save £4 billion a year in capital expenditure by scrapping the HS2 vanity project, which will benefit the few at the expense of many”

UKIP confirm scrapping HS2 as a central plank of their policy

UKIP confirm scrapping HS2 as a central plank of their policy

These savings would be; £800m 2015-16, £1,700m 2016-17, £1,700m 2017-18, £3,300m 2018-19, £4,000m 2019-20. Despite the three main parties all saying they want HS2, the project hardly gets a mention in their manifestos, but in the case of UKIP, they have thoroughly laid out their reasons for cancelling it:

“In October 2013, Lord Mandelson, speaking in the House of Lords about the Labour government’s decision to instigate the HS2 high-speed rail-link confessed that: “It was a political trophy project justified on flimsy evidence.”

“HS2 is running out of control. UKIP will stop this flawed vanity scheme in its tracks. The estimated cost is already £50 billion and HS2 Ltd is planning to spend over £800m in 2015/2016, before the project even gets the final go-ahead. The Government’s own estimates show the cost will never be recouped. “

“HS2 will blight thousands of homes and wreak irreparable environmental damage across large tracts of central England. The argument that HS2 is needed to provide extra capacity has just weeks ago been questioned by the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee, which concluded that: ‘the Government has not made a convincing case for why this particular project should go ahead.’”

“There is barely any evidence that HS2 will reduce the North-South divide: the north would get much quicker and higher benefit from investment in the infrastructure between northern towns and cities.”

“HS2 is an unaffordable white elephant and, given other, far more pressing calls on public expenditure, such as the NHS, social care and defence, not to mention the need to reduce the  deficit, it must face the axe.”

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