Civils contractors today said that the Chancellor’s decision to protect capital spending in his Autumn Statement shows confidence in the ability of UK infrastructure to deliver economic growth.
In his Autumn Statement, delivered earlier today, Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt MP said his three growth priorities were energy efficiency, investment in infrastructure, and innovation.
Furthermore, despite the UK Government’s £55 billion fiscal consolidation, Mr Hunt confirmed that the UK Government’s investment in a new nuclear power station at Sizewell C, as well as investment in HS2, Northern Powerhouse Rail, and East West rail, will go ahead.
Commenting, Chief Executive of the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) Alasdair Reisner said: “In recent months CECA has campaigned to ensure the continuation of existing programmes of investment.
“The Chancellor has today confirmed that our message – that cutting capital spending would ultimately be counter-productive for economic growth – has cut through in Whitehall.
“While we recognise the extremely challenging nature of the UK current fiscal position, nonetheless we welcome the Government’s recognition that cutting investment in infrastructure would not only harm growth but would cost jobs and negatively impact businesses and communities.
“We call on the Government to work with industry to redouble efforts to accelerate growth in the short and medium term, so that potential future cuts can be mitigated.
“We are now exploring the Government’s commitments in greater detail to ensure that the agenda on which it was elected in 2019 – that of levelling up the economy and investing in the infrastructure the UK will require in the coming years – remains in place, even in the context of the difficult choices the Chancellor has had to make today.
“The UK Government has today said that it has confidence in the infrastructure sector to deliver growth.
“CECA members stand ready to deliver on this ambition, and we look forward to working with our members and government at all levels to secure the economy, deliver the recovery, and return UK plc to economic growth as quickly as possible.”
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