Bosses dismiss infrastructure plans as “all talk”

Grant Prior 11 years ago
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Britain’s bosses believe that the Government is all talk and no action when it comes to investing in the country’s infrastructure.

A new CBI/KPMG report reveals that businesses are concerned that two years of positive Government infrastructure policy announcements will not translate into delivery on the ground – and could undermine the return to sustainable growth.

The survey found that two out of three firms believe that government policies will have no tangible impact on real infrastructure investment.

John Cridland, CBI Director-General, said: “I know that ministers share my enthusiasm for progress, but Government has talked the talk on infrastructure for the last two years with too few signs of action.

“The faltering speed of delivery on infrastructure creates a worrying sense that politicians lack the political will to tackle some of the major issues head-on.

“We can’t afford any further delay. The Coalition must show strong leadership and prove that the UK can deliver on a small number of projects over the next 18 months and reach a much-needed consensus on bigger issues such as aviation and roads reform.”

Richard Threlfall, KPMG Partner, said: “Sadly the business verdict remains that UK infrastructure is not up to scratch. It is disappointing to hear businesses report once again a sense of more rhetoric than action.

“Of particular concern is growing dissatisfaction with links between our regions, and the 73% of respondents who believe our local road network continues to deteriorate.

“Overlaid on this is the fear amongst businesses that too many critical investment decisions are being pushed back to beyond the next election.’

The CBI is now calling for five practical steps to be taken in the next 18 months to boost immediate construction:

Boost investment by introducing capital allowances for the construction of infrastructure projects at the Autumn Statement.

Complete all feasibility studies for road and rail projects outlined in the Spending Review and commit to detailed plans for delivery, while starting the debate on longer-term road reform by conducting an audit of the state of the road network and its costs to operate.

Enshrine the Energy Bill into legislation and bring forward secondary legislation to provide businesses with the certainty they need to invest in our future energy supply.

Commit to implement the findings of the Airports Commission in party manifestos.

Collaborate with industry on a long-term plan for digital infrastructure, enabling businesses to make use of a wide range of technologies.

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