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Last updateThu, 14 May 2020 1pm

Boost for Infrastructure Welcomed by Construction Industry

The Construction Products Association welcomed the Chancellor’s announcement confirming an increase for investment in infrastructure projects in today’s Autumn Statement, although overall capital spending continues to fall.

Responding to this announcement, the Association’s Chief Executive, Michael Ankers said: ‘Improving the quality of our infrastructure has a key part to play in raising business competitiveness and stimulating economic growth and it is encouraging that the government has recognised this. Schemes like the improvement to the A14 trunk road will improve access to key ports from our manufacturing heartland and help our export drive. At a time when construction output is falling and forecast to continue to do so for the next couple of years, the additional investment on infrastructure will help create new jobs and generate as much as £75 billion of economic activity across the economy as a whole.

‘Today’s announcements, however, do little to reverse the sharp fall in government capital spending – from £62bn in 2010/11 to £45bn in 2013/14. The most important step for the long term is to underpin investment on infrastructure with private finance and so the announcement that an additional £20bn of funding from pension funds and capital markets is particularly welcome. Funding of this kind will help create a long term sustainable framework for investment in our infrastructure which is set apart from the vagaries of government spending cycles.’

Turning to other measures in the Chancellor’s statement, Ankers said; ‘We welcome the initial measures that the Chancellor has announced to help electro-intensive industries. Government has recognised that it has to balance retaining key industries in the UK with the measures it needs to take to ensure long term security of energy supply. Companies in our sector will benefit from the additional rebate on the Climate Change Levy, as well as measures to reduce the cost of the EUETS and the Carbon Price Floor. But these are only the first steps and we want to see help for companies that use gas as their major source of energy. In particular they would benefit from enhanced capital allowances for investments that improve energy efficiency and the treatment of process emissions in a similar way to other EU Member States.’