UK Plans ‘Record’ Infrastructure Investment

(Europe) £640 Billion Over Term of Parliament

The UK Chancellor has announced plans for "record" investment in infrastructure, budgeting more than £500 million by the end of the current Parliament.

The plans, announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, call for spending of "triple the average over the last 40 years" in real terms, equivalent to £640 billion over the next five years.

“We are investing in world class infrastructure, and to lead the world in the industries and technologies of the future,” Sunak said in his budget speech.

Transport Spend

As part of the proposed investment the government aims to invest £27 billion through 2025 to improve vital transport routes. This is expected to include major works on new highways and long-term settlements for local transport worth £4.2 billion.

As part of a commitment to incentivise cleaner fuel, the chancellor also announced he would abolish tax relief on red diesel, affecting many parts of industry that rely on the subsidised diesel, but providing opportunities for operators using alternative fuels.

“I recognize it will be a big change for some industries,” Sunak said, but noted that the Budget included “considerable steps” to incentivise cleaner forms of transport and would help develop cleaner alternatives to red diesel and other fossil fuels with plans to “more than double R&D investment in the energy innovation program to £1 billion.

Temporary Economic Impacts
The budget also included major steps to tackle potential disruption from coronavirus, with the government pledging £12 billion for “temporary, timely and targeted measures” to provide security and stability for businesses.
“Whatever resources the NHS needs to deal with coronavirus – it will get,” Sunak stated, noting, “there will also be an impact on the demand side of the economy [which] will have a significant impact on the UK economy. But it will be temporary.”