Philip Hammond has called for a dynamic and innovative economy that will be based on a technological revolution to meet the needs of the UK today and in the future. His speech was delivered against an economic backdrop that showed the UK economy was slowing and inflation was rising. The Chancellor has recognised the intrinsic merit in the Association for Consultancy and Engineering’s (ACE) case that it is access to housing, jobs and affordable transport that will create the economic climate that will deliver future growth.
Commenting on the Budget, Dr Nelson Ogunshakin OBE, chief executive of ACE stated: "The Chancellor’s speech continues to build on the government’s commitment to investment in the UK’s social and economic infrastructure which ACE welcomes. Alongside his continuing support for the National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline, we have seen an increase to £31bn for the National Productivity Investment Fund, £1.7bn for a City Transformation Fund and £64m for construction and digital training courses. All of which is welcome.
"ACE has been working with the Treasury in the run-up to the budget and I am happy to say that 80% of ACE’s requests have been met by the Chancellor today. This covers investment in our city’s transport, housing and skills base, commitments to investing in the East/West Corridor (from Oxford to Cambridge), the provision of stimulus in science, innovation and technology-based industries, and investment in new digital technology.
"Although ACE broadly welcomes the budget announcement, the devil is in the detail and we will be going through the budget in greater detail in the following days. We are also expecting further announcements next week when the Industrial Strategy is unveiled."