UK Spending Review: Energy & transport £100bn from 2015-20
The Government promises;
Plans for a £100bn modernization of the UK's infrastructure have been announced, including new homes, road repairs and improved flood protection.
The package, of which £50bn will come in 2015-16, after the general election, is also aimed at boosting new sources of energy like shale gas.
While the first £50bn is committed to infrastructure projects starting in 2015-16, the rest is for the period from 2016 to 2020.
The main funding commitments include:
- £3bn to build 165,000 new affordable homes
- £28bn for road improvements, including £10bn for essential maintenance
- £10bn to clear a "backlog" of school building repairs
- 850 miles of railway to be electrified as part of £30bn rail investment
- £250m for extended super-fast broadband to rural areas
- £370m for flood defences
- Agreement with industry to provide affordable insurance for flood-hit homes
- £800m extra funding for Green Investment Bank
- £150m for health research including into dementia
- £100m for a new prison in Wales Read more; bbc.co.uk
Will the Government deliver? What the critics say;
The Telegrah quotes CBI director-general John Cridland as saying: "While the Government talks a good game on the infrastructure we've seen too little delivery on the ground so far. It is critical we see a real pipeline of projects, so investors know what schemes are going ahead, where and when".
Richard Threlfall, head of infrastructure at KPMG, said he thought it unlikely the government would provide any genuinely new projects. "We will all be very surprised if there's anything that appears that we have not heard of before," he said.
Although George Osborne has pledged £50.4bn of capital spending on roads, homes and rail in 2015/16, experts have pointed out that this is not only the same amount as last year but effectively a 1.7% cut because it has not been adjusted for inflation.
Nick Baveystock, director general of the Institution of Civil Engineers, said he welcomed a renewed focus on infrastructure but warned that the promises were not all good news: "Departmental cuts will inevitably place further pressure on local authority budgets, with road maintenance likely to suffer the brunt." Source: theweek.co.uk
My take on this is that the Government will carry out the road resurfacing and pothole repairs just before the next general election in 2015 which will provide very visible evidence that the Conservative coalition have done something worthwhile during their reign. The rest of the spending review for the later years will never take place as the newly elected 2015 Government whoever they may be will say that the country is in a worse state than expected and there is no money left for any further infrastructure promises.