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‘Faltering’ infrastructure delivery harming growth

Businesses are concerned that infrastructure announcements will not translate into delivery on the ground, a CBI/KPMG report shows.

A survey of 526 business leaders found that 65% believe infrastructure policy will have no tangible impact, and only 35% believe they will make a difference on the ground.

Connect More highlights the importance of infrastructure to UK growth, and sets out five steps to boost this in the next 18 months.

Capital allowances should be introduced for the construction of infrastructure projects at the Autumn Statement, and the Government should complete all feasibility studies for road and rail projects outlined in the Spending Review.

The Energy Bill should be enshrined into legislation, the findings of the Airport Commission must be implemented, and Government must collaborate with industry for a long-term plan for digital infrastructure.

John Cridland, CBI director-general, said: “Quality infrastructure is vital for boosting exports, unlocking business investment across the UK, and supporting our leading firms – an essential element of a meaningful industrial strategy.

“I know that ministers share my enthusiasm for progress, but Government has talked the talk on infrastructure for the last two years with too few signs of action.

“The faltering speed of delivery on infrastructure creates a worrying sense that politicians lack the political will to tackle some of the major issues head-on.

“We can’t afford any further delay. The Coalition must show strong leadership and prove that the UK can deliver on a small number of projects over the next 18 months and reach a much-needed consensus on bigger issues such as aviation and roads reform.”

Richard Threlfall, KPMG Partner, said: “The state of our infrastructure is not a theoretical debate. For UK business it is about bottom line profitability and international competitiveness. It is about transport networks that get supplies in and products delivered on time, energy supply that is dependable at lowest cost and digital networks that offer fast connectivity anytime, anywhere.

“We know what good looks like – we need to get on and build it.”

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