CBI calls for independent infrastructure body

27 Feb 15

Political uncertainty over infrastructure is hindering the private investment needed to upgrade vital economic links like transport, energy and broadband, it has been claimed today.

The CBI urged the next government to establish an independent infrastructure body that would determine the country’s investment needs and look at innovative solutions, including for funding.

In its Financing our future economy report, the group highlighted that the majority of the £466bn needed in theNational Infrastructure Plan to 2020 was needed from the private sector.

However, investors are being held back by uncertainty over the future pipeline of projects. To tackle this, the next government should establish an independent infrastructure body to determine future investment needs and look at innovative solutions, like ‘bundling’ smaller projects together, to create an attractive proposition for institutional investors.

CBI director general John Cridland said political uncertainty must not be allowed to undermine investment.

‘Infrastructure, like transport, energy and broadband, is the hard-wiring of our economy but we’re still not investing enough to support the UK’s growth ambitions,’ he stated.

‘We need to take the politics out of infrastructure with an independent infrastructure body. And we also need to look at innovative ways to attract investment from pension funds and insurers into our infrastructure.’

The report said the independent body should be able to determine future infrastructure investment needs and how they should be met, without delaying projects already underway.

Labour has backed the creation of a National Infrastructure Commission, which was proposed in a review for the party by former Network Rail chief Sir John Armitt.

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