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ICE calls for national infrastructure bank

In the ICE’s Budget Response, director general Tom Foulkes has called on the government to consider setting up a national infrastructure bank.

This is to ensure secure long-term funding for essential infrastructure works.

The ICE welcomed the government’s commitment to investing in a future low-carbon industry, but warned that the UK must have the infrastructure in place to exploit these emerging sectors.

Foulkes said: “Long-term, the principle of putting green jobs at the centre of a new low carbon economy is a sound one.

Therefore, the extra money for offshore wind and other renewable projects, incentives for CHP and carbon capture technologies and the introduction of carbon budgets is to be welcomed.

A national infrastructure bank could plug some of the gap created by the credit crunch

Tom Foulkes, ICE

“However we need to ensure that the UK ,has the infrastructure to enable us to properly exploit these emerging sectors.

“So, the real question left unanswered in the budget is how we are to fund essential infrastructure projects over the long term?

“One idea strongly advocated by the ICE would be to explore the establishment of a national infrastructure bank.

“This could plug some of the gap created by the credit crunch and allow the cost of major projects to be spread over their  long operational lives.”

Foulkes also welcomed the government’s commitment to maintaining capital investment to 2012, which will hopefully reduce the danger of a double-dip recession occurring in the construction industry.

This was something the ICE warned about in its Budget Submission back in February.

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