ICE submission to the 2015 Spending Review

The Government’s Spending Review will be published on 25 November. It is likely that cuts will be made to unprotected government departments, all of which have responsibility for delivering or maintaining infrastructure. Prior to this announcement, ICE has submitted its case to HM Treasury.

The need to protect flood defence budgets is vital to ensure the resilience of the UK's infrastructure
The need to protect flood defence budgets is vital to ensure the resilience of the UK's infrastructure

In its submission, ICE recommends that over the next five years, infrastructure policy should focus on two overarching objectives:

  • Maximising infrastructure’s contribution to greater prosperity through improved productivity and higher economic growth;
  • Building resilience into the UK’s infrastructure networks so that they are able to sustain UK economic growth in the long term.

To achieve these goals the UK needs:

  • High performing infrastructure networks and assets to support economic growth;
  • A world class engineering workforce that is flexible and can easily be redeployed between projects in the infrastructure pipeline.

To enable the delivery of these, ICE calls on Government to commit to the following in its spending plans for this Parliament:

  • Capital programmes in strategic transport and flooding should remain in place. Six year investment programmes in these sectors provide the building blocks for growth, productivity and employment opportunities;
  • Approaches to maintenance investment should mirror those for capital. A shift to a whole life, or Total Expenditure, approach allows for improved performance and reduces the overall cost of maintenance;
  • A consistent approach to energy policy incentivises investment, achieves security of supply and allows for affordability. Energy efficiency policy requires attention;
  • Apprenticeships which provide recognisable, high quality and transferrable qualifications and incentives to upskill the existing workforce;
  • Government incentives to promote engineering and science in schools and deliver a knowledge based economy.

Download this report