The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has called on the Government to increase its infrastructure spending during this month’s comprehensive spending review.
The CBI has warned that failure to act will put the fledgling recovery at risk. In order to bridge the investment gap, it is calling for short-term action on improving roads, boosting house building and getting a pipeline of major projects moving.
John Cridland (pictured), CBI director-general, said: “With more than half of government spending ring-fenced and £11.5 billion of cuts required, the Government has to walk a tightrope of making substantial savings, without harming fragile growth. The Chancellor must prioritise areas that could propel a fledgling recovery and infrastructure investment should be in pole position.
“If the Government doesn’t act now even less infrastructure could be built in the years ahead, as cuts from the last spending round continue to feed through and decisions on major projects remain up in the air.
“To bridge the gap, the Chancellor needs to press ahead with short-term action to improve roads and boost the supply of housing. He also needs to identify a pipeline of transformational projects and make sure their red ribbons are cut at the earliest opportunity.”
The CBI wants the Government to carry out the following measures:
- The Government to select flagship projects to prioritise – for example, expansion of the A14 connecting Felixstowe Port, the M4 relief road and improving surface access to airports
- Cross-party manifesto pledges to accept findings of the Davies Commission on aviation capacity in 2015
- Clarity over the next investment cycle for the affordable homes programme
- An extension of the duration of government guarantee schemes to boost private sector investment
- Maintaining focus of repair, maintenance and improvement schemes for roads to bridge the gap before larger projects reach construction.