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Chancellor launches National Infrastructure Commission

George Osborne

New independent body to determine priorities and hold governments to account for their delivery

CHANCELLOR George Osborne has today launched the new National Infrastructure Commission, to oversee the previously announced £100 billion of government spending on infrastructure projects.

Led by former Cabinet minister Lord Adonis, the new independent body has been set up to determine Britain’s infrastructure priorities and hold the current and future governments to account for their delivery.

Providing a long-term, unbiased analysis of the country’s major infrastructure needs, the Commission will produce a report at the start of each five-year parliament, offering recommendations for priority infrastructure projects.

Its initial focus will be on three key areas:

  • Northern connectivity – 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 – reviewing strategic options and identifying priorities for future investment in large-scale road, rail and underground transport improvements, including Crossrail 2
  • Energy – 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. 

Setting out his plans to ‘get Britain building’, the Chancellor said infrastructure will be at the heart of next month’s Spending Review, and he pledged £100 billion in infrastructure spending by 2020 – including full funding for the £15 billion Roads Investment Strategy.

‘This is about jobs, growth, living standards and ensuring Britain is fit for the future,’ said Mr Osborne. ‘Infrastructure isn’t some obscure concept – it’s about people’s lives, economic security and the sort of country we want to live in.

‘That’s why I am determined to shake Britain out of its inertia on infrastructure and end the situation where we trail our rivals when it comes to building everything from the housing to the power stations that our children will need.’

Lord Adonis added: ‘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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