In advance of the Autumn Budget 2018, the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) has written to the Chancellor on behalf of its members outlining its views for infrastructure and the industry.
In its submission to HM Treasury, ACE has highlighted that the government should:
- Recognise that investment in infrastructure and housing creates jobs, raises incomes and is an important tool for rebalancing the economy – construction is estimated to produce £2.84 of economic activity for every £1 spent. Alongside this we need longer term commitments to solving the housing crisis and a positive response to the ambitions of the National Infrastructure Assessment as a foundation for future growth.
- Promote greater transparency and understanding between funding infrastructure investment and the ultimate end-users, members of the public. Despite housing and infrastructure both being high on their agenda, there is no connection between public perceptions on investment and the benefits which result from it. Greater transparency would mean that local communities could argue for a fairer distribution of funding for local infrastructure.
- Apply the same principle of transparency on a national level to road users through the introduction of Dynamic Road User charging rather, than the current emissions-based system where revenues will decline to a soon to be unsustainable level for the maintenance of the national road networks.
- Publish the updated Government Construction Strategy and allocate the remainder of Construction Sector Deal funding. This would help the industry work towards government aims outlined in the sector deal and respond to the findings of their Transforming Infrastructure Performance Report.
Commenting on ACE’s submission, chief executive Hannah Vickers said: “We have outlined a number of areas which would not only be wins for our industry but wins for society. Infrastructure is vital to economic growth and the Chancellor should recognise this by taking positive immediate steps on firstly, the implementation of the recommendations of the National Infrastructure Assessment, and secondly, allocating the remainder of the Construction Sector Deal funding.”
“We have also argued that more clarity is required when it comes to infrastructure spending. Increased transparency would help the public to make a connection between investment and infrastructure benefits. It would ensure communities could argue for a fairer distribution of funding for local infrastructure. Finally, it would go some way to fixing the emissions-based funding mechanism for our road network which ultimately isn’t sustainable as more electric and hybrid vehicles come on to our roads.”