Time to move “from blueprints to building” on UK infrastructure

Posted on 26 Jun 2013 by The Manufacturer

The CBI has called for the Chancellor to make bold decisions on infrastructure investment in today’s spending round.

The CBI has reiterated its call for the Chancellor to take urgent steps to bridge the infrastructure investment gap in the UK.

The business organisation says big decisions must be taken to protect growth and get a range of major projects into the realms of reality, rather than stagnating a blueprints for potential economic stimulus. Failure to act could place the fledgling recovery at risk said the CBI.

Immediate improvements to Britain’s road network and the kickstarting of major long term infrastructure developments are urgently required according to the CBI whose director general John Cridland today commented: “The Chancellor must prioritise areas that could propel a fledgling recovery and infrastructure investment should be in pole position.”

In parallel with infrastructure investment, the CBI said that complementary growth investments should be made in bodies such as the Technology Strategy Board.

A submission of recommendations to government ahead of today’s spending round advised that:

  • The Government should select flagship projects to prioritise – for example, an upgrade of the A14 connecting Felixstowe Port, the M4 relief road and improving surface access to airports
  • Cross-party manifesto pledges should be obtained to accept the recommendations of the Davies Commission on aviation capacity in 2015
  • Clarity should be given over the next investment cycle for the Affordable Homes Programme
  • The should be an extension of the UK guarantee schemes beyond 2014 to boost private sector investment
  • Focus should be maintained on Repair, Maintenance and Improvement schemes for roads to bridge the gap before larger projects reach construction

Complementary measures recommended by the CBI included:  

  • The extension of the Energy Intensive Industries support package which should be linked to the Carbon Price Floor
  • Support for maintaining current funding for the Technology Strategy Board (TSB)  and increasing this if possible, as the TSB has been underfunded to date and is crucial to successfully protect innovation in the UK
  • A new skills tax credit to invest in our future workforce and boost productivity
  • Continued support for UK Trade and Investment’s budget to boost growing and ambitious UK exporters