Institution of Civil Engineers says there is “no room for complacency” and calls for action in Budget

The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) has warned there is “no room for complacency” on George Osborne’s infrastructure investment plan in next month’s budget and he must take further action to ensure it is realised.

In the autumn chancellor George Osborne promised to attract £20bn of institutional funding, from sources such as pension funds, into infrastructure investment.

The ICE said that the government should institute a range of measures in next month’s budget to ensure its infrastructure plan is successful including:

  • Assign a senior minister to oversee the infrastructure investment plan
  • Create a set of performance measures to benchmark progress
  • Develop a two-year pipeline of projects and publish greater detail of projects due to come to market soon
  • Publish an assessment of the level of funding it anticipates generating from each of the key investors such as pension funds and overseas finance
  • Publish a programme of work to unlock these funds
  • Monitor the progress with unlocking this funding and publish the results

Nick Baveystock , director general of ICE, said: “UK infrastructure, despite improvements, should be better and the coming budget will be pivotal in showing government’s commitment to that.”

He added: “Demonstrating accountability and setting up regular, high profile, public reporting on progress – especially through independent processes and forums - will give investors more confidence in the plan and a platform for continuous dialogue between industry, investors and government.”

The demands follow calls from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the Construction Products Association (CPA) for measures to boost the construction industry to be included in the budget. The CPA said more public expenditure should be moved into capital investment and the CBI said pooled investment platforms would be needed to realise the government’s infrastructure investment goals.

The UK Contractors Group also urged the government to give clarity over the future of the private finance initiative.