Osborne splashes out on white elephant infrastructure projects, will spend £50bn in 2015/16

Chancellor George Osborne has committed £50bn to capital spending for 2015/16, saying that this brings total capital spend to £300bn for the end of the decade. However, capital spending stood at £48.5bn in 2009/10, so this looks like a real terms cut. He's also switched from the traditional net statistic to refer to the gross number.

Osborne says that transport spending will rise by nine per cent, and this will constitute the bulk of capital spending in 2015/16. A careful chancellor would shy away from political pressure to splash out on fashionable infrastructure projects.

Instead, he has committed to the largest expansion to roads for over half a century and the greatest railway expansion since the Victorian age. He also said that the green light must be given for HS2, which has been widely described as a white elephant project.