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Ministers urged to protect transport spend

CONSULTANTS AND materials producers this week urged the government to stick to its 10 year transport plan spending commitments, seizing on a report criticising high public spending on health and education.

Association of Consulting Engineers chief executive Nelson Ogunshakin warned that any moves to cut back spending would be 'catastrophic for the industry and society.'

And Construction Products Association economist Alan Wilen said the government should publish an updated 10 year transport plan with timescales and budgets for key major projects.

Ogunshakin and Wilen seized on a report published last week by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development (OECD) as evidence of the need for higher transport spending.

'Probably the single area where decades of low government investment may be adversely impinging on the productive performance of the whole economy is through an inadequate transport infrastructure, ' says the report.

The report adds that sharp rises in health and education spending have failed to produce corresponding increases in health and education standards.

INFOPLUS To see a summary of the OECD report go to the infoplus section at www. nceplus.co.uk

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