Commenting on today’s spending review (25 November), John Rossiter, indirect tax director at MHA MacIntyre Hudson, believes the infrastructure spending plan strikes a good balance between large long-term and regional ”shovel-ready” projects, but funding must be made available quickly and efficiently:
“On infrastructure spending, the Spending Review struck a good balance between large long-term infrastructure projects and funding for smaller regional ‘shovel-ready’ projects. Combined with the commitments made to upskill workers and create jobs, this should provide the foundations to help support the medium-term recovery from the Covid-19 crisis and longer-term ambitions. However, it’s vital that funding is made available quickly and efficiently, and that projects needing funding are identified and agreed in a timely fashion. Speed is of the essence if jobs in the construction sector are to be protected in the short term and increased in the longer term to meet infrastructure demand.
“The establishment of a National Infrastructure Bank allowing private investment is a very positive development announcement, and will help funding get to where it needs to be deployed. However, there absolutely needs to be regional capability to deliver projects. Not just local authorities or private business, but other stakeholders such as the local community, campaigners and advisers have got to be engaged. This model has been proven to work – and work effectively.”