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Budget Analysis: ACE upbeat

26 March 2012

Key budget points from the Association of Consulting Engineers:

Following the announcement in autumn that pension funds will be approached to fund a further £20 billion of infrastructure investment, the Chancellor announed the establishment of a new Pension Infrastructure Platform owned and run by UK pension funds. This will make the first wave of its initial £2 billion investment in UK infrastructure by early 2013.

Construction industry figures said they welcomed the continued focus on infrastructure investment outlined by Osborne, but had been hoping for greater detail.

Noble Francis, director of economics at the Construction Products Association, said:  “There is little in terms of practical measures - we’re talking about relatively small amounts in relatively few areas. It’s not a game changer, there’s very little that is significant.”

Jonathan Hook, construction partner at consultancy PwC, said the industry was waiting for detail on how the pension fund investment would be brought in, and on the future of PFI: “It’ll be positively received by business as a whole, but there’s little for the construction sector. Remember there are a lot of public sector cuts to come so the question is how the private sector can be brought in.”

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