A new infrastructure spending plan which promises to invest £375bn has today been revealed by government.
The National Infrastructure Plan (NIP) has been unveiled ahead of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement on Thursday and responds to criticism of weak infrastructure planning in previous Budget announcements.
Controversially, the plan includes an intention to sell off a 40% stake in the Eurostar rail service.
Other major elements of the NIP include:
- £50m of new funding for a redevelopment of the railway station at Gatwick Airport
- A government guarantee to back finance for the development of a new nuclear power station at Wylfa, north Wales
- A £1bn guarantee for the Northern Line extension to Battersea in London
- Funding for improvements to the A50 around Uttoxeter, in Staffordshire, to start no later than 2015-16
- The target for the sale of corporate and financial assets will be doubled from £10bn to £20bn between 2014 and 2020, including the government’s shareholding in Eurostar.
In addition to the government’s own infrastructure spending plans, it has today been announced that six national insurance firms have agreed to provide £25bn of support for national infrastructure development.
L&G, Prudential, Aviva, Standard Life, Friends Life and Scottish Widows all agreed to back the collaborative pot after EU rules changed, allowing them to invest more in a wider range of assets.
Commenting on today’s spending announcements the CBI’s chief policy director Katja Hall said that the plans matched up the measures the business support body had been calling for from government. She tempered her enthusiasm however with a warning that “As ever, the devil will be in the detail on timelines and delivery.”
Ms Hall went on to welcome the involvement of the insurance sector in supporting infrastructure spend.
“With the majority of national infrastructure projects earmarked to be delivered by the private sector, the insurance industry’s £25 billion investment is good news,” she said.