Published: Thursday, 5th November 2015
Chancellor George Osborne has committed to spending £100bn on new UK infrastructure over the lifetime of the current Parliament.
That commitment to new roads, rail, flood defences and key energy projects came as he named the members of the new National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) and spelled out in more detail the Commission’s initial terms of reference.
Osborne has made it clear that infrastructure expenditure will be a key element of the Government’s current spending review, the results of which will be published later this month in the Autumn Statement.
A suite of asset sales which the Treasury expects to raise billions of pounds is being identified which will be ploughed back into infrastructure projects. More details will be announced in the Statement.
Osborne announced that seven “commissioners” will serve alongside NIC chair Lord Adonis. They are:
- Lord Heseltine, former Conservative Deputy Prime Minister
- Sir John Armitt CBE, former chair of the Olympic Delivery Authority and author of the eponymous review into infrastructure planning commissioned by the Labour Party
- Professor Tim Besley CBE, professor of economics and political science at the London School of Economics
- Demis Hassabis, vice-president of engineering at Google
- Sadie Morgan , design panel chair of HS2
- Bridget Rosewell OBE, former chief economist to the Greater London Authority
- Sir Paul Ruddock, chairman of the Victoria and Albert Museum.
The Commission’s initial focus will be in three key areas. These are:
- Northern connectivity, particularly identifying priorities for future investment in the North’s strategic transport infrastructure to improve connectivity between cities, especially east-west across the Pennines
- London’s transport system, particularly reviewing strategic options and identifying priorities for future investment in large scale transport improvements, on road, rail and underground, including Crossrail 2
- Energy, particularly exploring how the UK can better balance supply and demand, aiming for an energy market where prices are reflective of costs to the overall system.