Document outlines investment needed in UK infrastructure over next five years

The government has today published a National Infrastructure Plan stating its aims for improving the UK’s economic infrastructure over the next five years.

The plan outlines the scale of the challenge facing UK infrastructure and the major investment needed in networks and systems in energy, transport, digital communications, floodwater, waste management and science.

The report attacked the cost of building infrastructure and said it would bring down construction costs in the public sector.

In the foreward Lord Sassoon, commercial secretary to the Treasury said: “If we were only to reduce public sector construction costs by 15% that would result in annual savings, or additional investment, of £1 billion.”

Sassoon said that civil engineering works in the UK were 60% more expensive than in Germany. He said costs would come down if the planning system was overhauled.

But the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) attacked the plan because it fails to did not deal with housebuilding. Last Wednesday the government announced the housing and regeneration budget would be slashed by 75% over the next four years.

Brian Berry, director of external affairs at the FMB said:

“The Government is right to be looking at renewal of the nation’s infrastructure but it cannot afford to ignore new housing provision as it contributes to the delivery of everything else.

“Economic growth is simply not sustainable without the delivery of new housing and the Government must show it is serious about investment in the UK’s housing needs, when there are some five million people in the UK on the housing waiting lists,” he said.