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ICE Director General welcomes recognition of the importance of infrastructure in spring Budget

last modified Mar 09, 2017 02:46 PM
Following Chancellor Philip Hammond’s spring Budget, the Director General of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), Nick Baveystock, has called the recognition of the importance of infrastructure to closing the productivity gap in the UK “very positive developments”.

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ICE Director General Nick Baveystock

The Chancellor highlighted that, in 2015, UK output per hour stood 18 percentage points behind the average for other G7 countries, 35 percentage points behind Germany, 27 percentage points behind France, and 30 percentage points behind the USA.

With his predecessor George Osborne having made several infrastructure-related announcements in the last budget, this time the focus was on skills and support for the innovation and technology required to deliver it.

Nick Baveystock said: "Considered alongside the Modern Industrial Strategy and Digital Strategy, this Budget shows a strong desire to position the UK as a leading global economy, now and in the post-Brexit future. The Chancellor is right to focus on the UK's productivity and in recognising the critical role of infrastructure to meet that challenge. While the Autumn Statement outlined infrastructure investment priorities, the spring Budget now focuses on building the necessary skills and technology to deliver them.

"We are pleased to see further detail on the allocation of the National Productivity Investment Fund with commitments to emerging technologies, 5G and fibre broadband, critical for the UK's economic growth and future prosperity. We also look forward to more detail on technical education reform, including the new T-Levels."

Read the full ICE article and watch Nick Baveystock interviewed on Sky News here.

An ICE summary of the infrastructure-related highlights in the spring Budget can be viewed here.