Welsh Government “deceiving the people of Wales” on M4 cost

The Welsh Government is “deceiving the people of Wales” on the new M4 Relief Road bypass cost, according to Friends of the Earth Cymru.
The Welsh Government’s latest consultation on the M4 Newport bypass puts the cost of the project at £1.1 billion [1].
However this cost does not include VAT, inflation or maintenance and repair, which environmental campaigners say doubles the cost of the project.
Last May the First Minister said that the actual cost of the project would be “a long, long way under £1 billion” [2], and then in November he stated the cost would be “way below” £1 billion [3].
Gareth Clubb, Director of Friends of the Earth Cymru, said:
“If any of us want to make an extension on our house we need to know how much it’s going to cost. We can’t possibly exclude things like VAT and maintenance. But the Welsh Government is sweeping these massive costs for the M4 under the carpet and hoping we’ll all forget about it.
“We’ve calculated that the scheme will cost more than £2.3 billion once VAT, inflation and maintenance is included [4].
“This makes a huge difference to the cost-benefit analysis too. If the cost is doubled then we end up with a scheme that provides less benefit than it costs [5]. We’d be better off stuffing £2 billion under the mattress than spending it on the M4.
“The Welsh Government needs to come clean on the total cost of this environmentally devastating scheme. As it stands the Welsh Government is deceiving the people of Wales”.

NOTES
1. http://gov.wales/docs/det/report/160310-m4-scheme-assessment-report-en.pdf p31
2. http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/news/12945931.M4_relief_road_will_cost_less_than___1billion__vows_First_Minister/
3. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-34734402
Published cost
£1.093bn
Inflation (construction inflation is roughly 5% per year)*
£0.175bn
Maintenance (based on 2013 WG figures +10% to account for 10 additional bridges plus inflation)*
£0.675bn
Sub-total
£1.943bn
VAT (currently 20%)
£0.389bn
Grand total
£2.332bn
*assuming 0% construction completed by end of 2016 and 20% in each of the following five years
* http://www.m4newport.com/assets/weltag-s1-2-report.pdf pp94-95
4. Transport benefits of the scheme are described to be £1.938bn. Costs are £2.332bn.

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