Chancellor pledges £100bn by 2020 for infrastructure

Aaron Morby 2 years ago
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Chancellor George Osborne will today launch the National Infrastructure Commission and promise to stick to his pledge to spend £100bn in this Parliament for new roads, rail, flood defences and other vital projects.

George Osborne

He will set out plans to ‘get Britain building’, saying that infrastructure will be at the heart of next month’s Spending Review.

In the review, the Chancellor will set out plans to raise billions of pounds from a suite of asset sales that will be ploughed back into infrastructure projects.

Later today in York, Osborne will also confirm the seven commissioners who will help former Cabinet minister Lord Adonis run the independent National Infrastructure Commission.

The line-up includes Lord Heseltine and experienced industry bigwig, Sir John Armitt, who backed the formation of the commission in a Labour policy document before the last election.

NIC commissioners

  • Lord Heseltine – the former deputy prime minister who has long championed the regeneration of Britain’s inner cities through infrastructure investment
  • Sir John Armitt – the former chair of the Olympic Delivery Authority, and next year’s President of the Institute of Civil Engineers
  • Professor Tim Besley – a former member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee and the LSE’s Growth Commission, which recommended an independent infrastructure body
  • Demis Hassabis – artificial intelligence researcher, neuroscientist and head of DeepMind Technologies
  • Sadie Morgan – a founding director of dRMM Architects and Design Panel Chair of HS2
  • Bridget Rosewell – a senior adviser at Volterra and former Chief Economist and Chief Economic Adviser to the Greater London Authority
  • Sir Paul Ruddock – chairman of the Victoria & Albert Museum and the University of Oxford Endowment

The Chancellor said: “I am determined to shake Britain out of its inertia on infrastructure and end the situation where we trail our rivals when it comes to building everything from the housing to the power stations that our children will need.

“At the Spending Review, I will commit to investing £100bn in infrastructure over the next five years and we are creating an independent commission to give us a long-term, unbiased analysis of the country’s major infrastructure needs.

“We need to think long-term and deliver a cross-party consensus on what we need to build.”

The commission will produce a report at the start of each five-year Parliament, offering recommendations for priority infrastructure projects and  hold governments to account for their delivery.

Its initial focus will be in three key areas.  These include  identifying priorities for future investment in the North’s strategic transport infrastructure to improve connectivity between cities, especially east-west across the Pennines.

London’s transport system, particularly reviewing strategic options and identifying priorities for future investment in large scale transport improvements – on road, rail and underground – including Crossrail 2.

Energy, particularly exploring how the UK can better balance supply and demand, aiming for an energy market where prices are reflective of costs to the overall system

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