The government has announced a new national infrastructure plan for the United Kingdom with public and private sector investment of more than £375 billion covering energy, transport, flood defence, waste, water and communications infrastructure up to 2030 and beyond.
This comes on the day that six major insurers announced plans to collectively invest £25 billion in the UK’s infrastructure over the next five years.
“The National Infrastructure Plan provides the visibility and improved certainty industry has been looking for in order to commit to big investments.” Says the government.
Commenting on the announcement Katja Hall, CBI Chief Policy Director, said:
“It’s encouraging to see more detail on the timescales and financing of national infrastructure projects, but this still feels like a very long and hopeful Christmas list, rather than a true set of priorities.
“While this plan may look good on paper, now we urgently need to see action on the ground.”
On investment from the insurance industry and Solvency II, she said:
“With the vast majority of national infrastructure projects earmarked to be delivered by the private sector, the insurance industry’s £25 billion investment is good news. It reflects the hard work done by the Government to get a decent settlement on Solvency II.”
On the A14 and other priority road projects, she said:
“After so much uncertainty, the news that a decision has been finally made on funding for the A14 means this essential upgrade will get off the ground sooner.
“This will come as nothing short of a relief for businesses given the importance of this trade route to link the port of Felixstowe to the rest of the country.
“We now need to maintain this momentum by holding the Government to its commitment to finalise feasibility studies for priority roads by this time next year.”
On energy, she said:
“New detail around strike prices and contract terms put us on a path towards getting much-needed investment to secure and decarbonise our energy infrastructure, with clear benefits to the UK economy and job creation.
“The new UK Guarantee in principle for construction of the Wylfa nuclear power station will boost the North Wales economy and create thousands of jobs, while helping to secure our long-term energy supply.
“The absolute priority now is to get the Energy Bill onto the statute books and to finalise the secondary legislation – only then will we have a complete framework within which companies will have the confidence to invest.”
On the Eurostar announcement, she said:
“The link to Europe has already brought significant regeneration and job opportunities. Eurostar needs investment to continue to grow and develop, and it's sensible now that this comes from the private sector, allowing the Government to deploy its resources elsewhere."