ICE State of the Nation calls for formation of infrastructure commission to help ensure certainty of future workloads

The government faces a £8bn bill if construction inflation rate is not slowed down.

The Institute of Civil Engineers claims that the construction inflation rate is currently running £1.8bn over the government estimates. If the rise continues, public infrastructure projects will cost £8bn by 2015.

The report calls for the creation of an independent infrastructure commission, which should be jointly led by government and the industry. The body will give greater certainty over future workloads and will allow firms to allocate their resources and investment more rationally.

Keith Miller, director of the ICE steering group which wrote the report, warned: “Big infrastructure projects could face delays or even cancellations if we continue in the same vein.”

The commission should be based in the Northern Ireland Strategic Board, which acts as a middleman between the government and industry on public infrastructure projects.