Construction Products Association praises autumn statement but notes fall in capital spending on infrastructure

The Construction Products Association has welcomed the pledge on investment for infrastructure projects made in today’s autumn statement on the economy, but noted that capital spending on infrastructure continues to fall.

The association’s chief executive Michael Ankers said: “Improving the quality of our infrastructure has a key part to play in raising business competitiveness and stimulating economic growth and it is encouraging that the government has recognised this.

“Schemes like the improvement to the A14 trunk road will improve access to key ports from our manufacturing heartland and help our export drive. At a time when construction output is falling and forecast to continue to do so for the next couple of years, the additional investment on infrastructure will help create new jobs and generate as much as £75bn of economic activity across the economy as a whole.

“Today’s announcements, however, do little to reverse the sharp fall in government capital spending – from £62bn in 2010/11 to £45bn in 2013/14.

“The most important step for the long term is to underpin investment on infrastructure with private finance, and so the announcement that an additional £20bn of funding from pension funds and capital markets is particularly welcome. Funding of this kind will help create a long term sustainable framework for investment in our infrastructure which is set apart from the vagaries of government spending cycles.”