Alongside the spring Budget, the Autumn Statement is one of two important fiscal statements made by the government every year. As usual, ICE responded to calls for evidence in its Autumn Statement submission which offered its insight into the positive effects that high quality, high performing infrastructure has on economic growth and improved quality of life. It called for Government to place infrastructure investment at the heart of its economic and industrial strategy.
The submission pointed out that infrastructure also acts as a catalyst for social and economic inclusion, encouraging greater participation in society from people of all walks of life. It said that in particular, during uncertain or volatile economic times, clear government commitments in UK infrastructure investment would help provide economic stability, enhance productivity, facilitate inward investment and drive economic growth.
The statement follows the recent publication of ICE's flagship National Needs Assessment (NNA) which looks ahead at the UK's infrastructure needs over a 30 year horizon. It states what needs to be done now and the decisions that need to be taken to deliver services for our infrastructure needs until 2050. It provides a blueprint for the government-backed National Infrastructure Commission's own National Infrastructure Assessment, due to be published in 2018.
ICE Director General Nick Baveystock welcomed the Chancellor's statement:
"The Chancellor is right to make infrastructure's ability to enable economic growth and thriving communities the main feature of the Autumn Statement. Following the recommendation made in the ICE led National Needs Assessment, the Chancellor announced that he will provide infrastructure targeted at unlocking new private house building in the areas where housing need is greatest. This links social and economic infrastructure together enables an integrated approach to infrastructure delivery that will provide places where people will want to live and work."