Wednesday 23 November 2016
Dr Diana Montgomery, Chief Executive of the Construction Products Association, commented on today’s Autumn Statement: “While many of the points raised by the Chancellor today were trailed during the party conference, we welcome the government’s commitment to infrastructure, innovation and housing investment as necessary components of a strong, resilient economy whilst helping to address the challenge of lagging productivity.
“We were pleased with the announcement of a National Productivity Investment Fund, with £23 billion over the next five years to be spent on infrastructure and innovation. The government has been clear with its ambition to ensure that R&D spending in the UK should lead to the development and production of products here too, all of which speaks to the work already undertaken by our manufacturers. Highlights of this fund include:
- £1.1billion for improved transportation networks in England
- £220 million for solutions to traffic pinch-points
- £450 million for digital signalling
- Over £1bn more for the UK’s digital infrastructure, plus 100% business rate relief on new fibre optic infrastructure
“We were also pleased to hear the Chancellor announce that the Chief Secretary to the Treasury will chair a new ministerial group that will oversee the delivery of priority infrastructure projects. As a sector we have applauded government announcements on capital investment in infrastructure but currently we are not seeing this delivery on the ground. We hope this group, along with the Infrastructure Projects Authority review, will ensure delivery alongside identifying ways in which government, working with construction product manufacturers and distributors, can improve the innovation, quality and performance of the UK’s infrastructure.
“In terms of housing, we appreciate the commitment to £3.7 billion of new spending on housing projects in England. Approximately £2.3 billion of this will be spent on the infrastructure related to housing developments such as roads and unlocking public land, and £1.4 billion will made to deliver 40,000 additional affordable homes. The critical focus of this must be how the government supports housing delivery through SME house builders and what is done to facilitate sustainable methods of construction.
“Overall, we were encouraged with the announcements made today and the positive impact that the delivery of these will have on UK construction product manufacturers and distributors. We have discussed many of these policy measures directly with government over the past 12 months and they will help the UK prepare for the challenges ahead through this inevitable period of uncertainty. The key, however, will be how these announcements feed through to delivery on the ground and our members will only have the confidence to make further investments when this is the case.”
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Emma Salmon, CPA Marketing and Communications Executive
Tel: 020 7323 3770
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