Osborne launches National Infrastructure Commission
On 30 October 2015, Chancellor George Osborne launched the National Infrastructure Commission to oversee £100bn of government spending on infrastructure projects by 2020. Following through on the announcement first made back in 2013, Osborne said that the spending was vital as a means of improving the lives of British people. Ref Gov.uk.
With the intention of ‘getting Britain building’, the Chancellor committed full funding for the Road Investment Strategy (£15bn), flood defences (£2.3bn), as well as new housing proposals.
The new Commission (originally announced on 5 October 2015 - see National Infrastructure Commission for more information), was formally launched at York’s National Railway Museum . Osborne said, “This is about jobs, growth, living standards and ensuring Britain is fit for the future. Infrastructure isn’t some obscure concept, it’s about people’s lives, economic security and the kind of country we want to live in.”
The 8-person Commission will be led by the former transport secretary Lord Adonis who recently left the Labour Party. The other 7 Commissioners are:
- Former Conservative deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine,
- Former member of the Bank of England’s rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee Prof Tim Besley,
- Former chair of the Olympic Delivery Authority Sir John Armitt,
- Neuroscientist Sadie Morgan,
- Former Chief Economist to the Greater London Authority, Bridget Rosewell.
- Chairman of the Victoria & Albert Museum Sir Paul Ruddock.
Their task will be to produce a report at the beginning of each Parliament that makes recommendations for spending on infrastructure projects. They will focus initially on three key areas:
- Identifying priorities for future investment in the North’s strategic transport infrastructure, improving connectivity between cities.
- Reviewing strategic options and identifying priorities for investment in London’s transport system, including Crossrail 2.
- Exploring how the UK can better balance supply and demand for energy, aiming for an energy market where prices are reflective of costs to the overall system.
Lord Adonis said: “For Britain to get on with the job of delivering high-quality infrastructure that benefits everyone, you need more than just a commitment to invest – you need long term forward plans and the maximum possible consensus. That is what the National Infrastructure Commission is here to promote.”
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