Homes and infrastructure get Autumn Statement boost
The Chancellor of the Exchequer has delivered his first Autumn Statement with an emphasis on 'high-value investment' in infrastructure and housing with the aim of boosting construction.
A new National Productivity Investment Fund will oversee a spend of £23bn over the next five years in a bid to improve UK productivity as we negotiate the terms of leaving the European Union.
The Chancellor announced a new £2.3bn housing infrastructure fund will see up to 1000,000 new homes built in areas of high demand. The government has also committed to funding 40,000 additional 'affordable' homes to the tune of £1.4bn. Acknowledging that, for many, home ownership remains out of reach, the Chancellor said the government will soon publish a white paper looking at options for meeting this 'urgent challenge'.
The chancellor also pledged £3.15bn to London as “its share of national affordable housing funding” to deliver 90,000 new homes.
Going forward, government will commit to spending between 1% and 1.2% of GDP from 2020 on economic infrastructure. By comparison, Mr Hammond said it was spending 0.8% now.
The chancellor also pledged £1.1bn to upgrade the local transport network in England, with another £220m allocated to alleviating traffic trouble spots and an extra £450m in funding to trial digital signalling on the railways. Another £1.8bn from the Local Growth Fund will also be given to English regions to fund infrastructure upgrades. A strategy to address the gap between the productivity of our capital and other cities will be published soon.
£15bn will be borrowed for infrastructure investment with the aim of balancing the books by the end of this parliament jettisoned in favour of a return to surplus some time in the next parliament.
Hammond stressed the importance of private sector investment in infrastructure and announced he has extended the UK guarantees scheme, which underpins private investment in infrastructure, to 2026.
A summary of announcements from the Autumn Statement can be found on the gov.uk website.