Chancellor confirms infrastructure investment in Autumn Statement

Highways Reporters

Major investment in infrastructure and a package of road improvements were just some of the plans revealed by Chancellor Philip Hammond in the Government's Autumn Statement today (23 November). In the Government's first major economic update since Brexit, Mr Hammond revealed that the Office for Budget Responsibility forecast is for growth to be 2.1% in 2016; higher than forecast in March.
The Chancellor continued: "In 2017 the OBR forecasts growth to slow to 1.4%, which they attribute to lower investment and weaker consumer demand, driven, respectively, by greater uncertainty and by higher inflation resulting from sterling depreciation.
"While the OBR is clear that it cannot predict the deal the UK will strike with the EU, its current view is that the referendum decision means that potential growth over the forecast period is 2.4 percentage points lower than would otherwise have been the case."
Mr Hammond announced a new National Productivity Investment Fund – a £23 billion investment in innovation and infrastructure over the next five years.
Speaking on the subject of roads investment, Mr Hammond confirmed that £1.1 billion will be spent on English local transport networks with £220 million set aside for tackling pinch points on England’s motorways and major A-Roads. He also gave the go ahead to a programme of major road schemes in the north.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling will set out more details about what this money will be spent on over the coming weeks.
£390m has been set aside for further development of low emission vehicles (LEVs) and connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs).
Mr Hammond told the House of Commons that he has written to the National Infrastructure Commission asking for proposals for spending in the next decade. The Government will commit to spending between 1% and 1.2% of GDP from 2020 on economic infrastructure, he confirmed.
The Chancellor reiterated the Government's commitment to the Northern Powerhouse, stating: "No other major economy has such a gap between the productivity of its capital, and its other cities."
He confirmed that the government will publish a strategy to address this.
In addition to the above, Mr Hammond confirmed that the Government will continue to invest in local infrastructure in every region of England.
He said: "I can announce the allocation of £1.8 billion from the Local Growth Fund to the English regions. £556 million to Local Enterprise Partnerships in the North of England, £542 million to the Midlands and East of England, and £683 million to LEPs in the South West, South East and London."
Concluding, Mr Hammond said: "We have set our course. We are a great nation. Bold in our vision. Confident in our strengths. And determined in our ambition to build a country that works for everyone."
You can read the Chancellor's full speech here.
Industry reaction to follow.
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