Osborne to confirm £100bn infrastructure investments
30 October 2015
Author: Daniel Puddicombe
The Chancellor, George Osborne, will today launch the National Infrastructure Commission - a new independent body set up to prioritise UK infrastructure projects and hold the Government to account - as he commits to spending £100bn for new road, rail and flood defence projects in the next five years.
The Commission will be led by former cabinet minister Lord Adonis.
Osborne is expected to set out plans to 'get Britain building', confirming that infrastructure "will be at the heart" of next month's spending review.
In his speech, Osborne will also confirm that the £15bn Road Investment Strategy - announced last year - is still on the cards with the Treasury expecting to raise "billions of pounds" with a suite of asset sales.
The Commission will produce a report at the start of each five-year Parliament term, which will offer recommendations for priority infrastructure projects, with an initial focus on three areas:
- Northern connectivity: Identifying priorities for future investment in the North's transport infrastructure to improve connectivity between cities, especially east-west across the Pennines.
- London's transport system: Reviewing options and identifying priorities for future investment in large scale transport improvements - on road, rail and underground - including Crossrail 2.
- Energy: Exploring how the UK can better balance supply and demand, aiming for an energy market where prices are reflective of costs to the overall system
The commissioners are:
- Lord Heseltine - a former deputy prime minister.
- Sir John Armitt - the former chair of the Olympic Delivery Authority, and next year's president of the Institute of Civil Engineers
- Professor Tim Besley - a former member of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee
- Demis Hassabis - artificial intelligence researcher, neuroscientist and head of DeepMind Technologies
- Sadie Morgan - Design Panel Chair of HS2
- Bridget Rosewell - a senior advisor at Volterra and former Chief economist and chief economic advisor to the Greater London Authority
- Sir Paul Ruddock - chairman of the Victoria & Albert Museum and the University of Oxford Endowment
"British people have to spend longer than they should getting to work, pay more than they should in energy bills and can't buy the houses they want because of the failure of successive governments to think long-term," Osborne is expected to say.
"Infrastructure isn't some obscure concept - it's about people's lives, economic security and the sort of country we want to live in," he will add.
"That's why I am determined to shake Britain out of its inertia on," he will add infrastructure and end the situation where we trail our rivals when it comes to building everything from the housing to the power stations that our children will need."