Business calls on Government to make “smarter use” of finance

The voice of UK business has called on the Government to make investment in UK infrastructure much more attractive. The CBI says it is frustrated with the Treasury following its […]

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By Tom Gibson

The voice of UK business has called on the Government to make investment in UK infrastructure much more attractive.

The CBI says it is frustrated with the Treasury following its promise of support to industry back in November.They say funding has been thin on the ground.

To secure £250 billion of investment to improve the UK’s ageing infrastructure the CBI wants a change to the way Government uses domestic investment tools, such as pension funds.

John Cridland, the CBI Director-General said: “If we want to see the billions of pounds needed to upgrade our ageing infrastructure and secure jobs and growth for the long-term, the Government must make smarter use of limited public finances.”

The CBI has identified areas of investment which it wants Government to explore. These include pooling pension funds, targeting specific projects to enhance their credit rating and commercialising the public sector’s approach to infrastructure.

Mr Cridland added: “Infrastructure spending offers the UK the elusive growth boost we are all seeking… If we can capture just a fraction of the £1.5 trillion of capital held in UK pension funds and invest a further 2% of their total assets in infrastructure, this would make a huge contribution to renewing our energy, transport and other infrastructure.”

The CBI is suggesting the Government lifts the credit rating for infrastructure projects to above investment grade (BBB-).