UK’s €41 billion infrastructure spend

By Helen Wright07 December 2012

Annual spending on infrastructure projects in the UK will now average £33 billion (€41 billion), according to the latest figures from the government.

George Osborne, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, confirmed during his autumn statement that the government would inject a fresh £5 billion (€6.2 billion) over three years into the country’s infrastructure.

Mr Osborne said an extra £1 billion (€1.2 billion) would be committed to roads, including upgrades to key sections of the A1 between London and Newcastle, the construction of a link between the A5 and the M1, turning the A30 in Cornwall into a dual carriageway, and upgrades to the M25 London ring road.

He also said the government would provide a series of loan guarantees for up to £40 billion (€49.6 billion) to support further projects, including a £1 billion (€1.2 billion) loan guarantee to extend the Northern Line underground rail line in London to Battersea Power Station, and support a new development “on a similar scale to the Olympic Park”.

Indeed, he said projects worth £10 billion (€12.4 billion) had already pre-qualified under the loan guarantee scheme. And Mr Osborne said the government was also offering £10 billion (€12.4 billion) worth of guarantees for housing, too.

Not enough?

Commenting on Mr Osborne’s autumn statement, chief executive of the UK Construction Products Association Diana Montgomery, said, “The Chancellor clearly recognises the need to stimulate growth through construction activity and has made several announcements that are a step in the right direction.

“However if you put these announcements into context, the benefits to our sector are less clear. Throughout this year, construction has been contracting by £1 billion (€1.2 billion) each month, so his announcement that there will be an additional £5 billion (€6.2 billion) added to the capital budget over three years, will do very little to offset the losses we are already experiencing.”

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