Chancellor announces new infrastructures commission

Posted on 5 Oct 2015 by The Manufacturer

George Osborne said the new body tasked with planning infrastructure projects will be presented at this week's Conservative conference in Manchester.

During his announcement, the Chancellor said he will pledge an extra £5bn to “shake Britain out of its inertia.”

The commission will be chaired by Lord Adonis, former policy chief in Tony Blair’s cabinet and former transport secretary in Gordon Brown’s government.

Lord Adonis supported the plan and said that, “Without big improvements to its transport and energy systems, Britain will grind to a halt.”

“Major infrastructure projects like Crossrail and building major new power stations span governments and Parliaments. I hope it will be possible to forge a wide measure of agreement across society and politics on key infrastructure requirements for the next 20 to 30 years,” he added.

Commenting on the announcement, John Cridland, CBI Director-General, said: “Updating the UK’s infrastructure is critical to sustainable growth and productivity, and we’ve long called for an independent body to assess our long-term needs.

“This new Commission is welcome but we must not duck the important infrastructure decisions that need taking now, particularly on expanding aviation capacity in the South East,” he added.

Osborne is also planning to merge 89 local authority pension funds in England and Wales into six regional funds to fuel investments in major infrastructure projects.