Chancellor Philip Hammond heeded the ICE’s recommendation to put economic growth through infrastructure investment in November’s Autumn Statement.
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Before the announcement, the ICE had used its Autumn Statement submission to push for a government commitment to putting infrastructure investment at the heart of its post-Brexit economic and industrial strategy. It highlighted the positive effects that high quality, high performing infrastructure has on economic growth and improved quality of life.
ICE director general Nick Baveystock welcomed the prioritisation of infrastructure investment. “The chancellor is right to make infrastructure’s ability to enable economic growth and thriving communities the main feature of the Autumn Statement,” he said.
“Following the recommendation made in the ICE-led National Needs Assessment, the chancellor announced that he would provide infrastructure targeted at unlocking new private housebuilding in the areas where housing need is greatest. This links social and economic infrastructure together and enables an integrated approach to infrastructure delivery that will provide places where people will want to live and work.”
The ICE’s Autumn Statement submission said that in particular, during uncertain or volatile economic times, clear government commitments to UK infrastructure investment would help provide economic stability, enhance productivity, facilitate inward investment and drive economic growth.
The Autumn Statement follows the recent publication of ICE’s National Needs Assessment which looks at the UK’s infrastructure needs over the next 30 years.
It says what needs to be done now and the decisions to be taken to deliver Britain’s infrastructure needs until 2050. It provides a blueprint for the government-backed National Infrastructure Commission’s own National Infrastructure Assessment, due to be published in 2018.
Baveystock added: “The ICE headlined that demands from population growth, demographic changes, climate change and economic trends will alter how infrastructure is used. The new National Productivity Investment Fund [announced by Hammond] will provide £23bn over the next five years into housing, transport, digital and research and development.”