Michael Ankers.

Clegg’s speech lacks positive action on economy

Published:  15 September, 2011

LONDON: Responding to Nick Clegg’s speech on the economy yesterday, the Construction Products Association is disappointed that, despite the government’s continuing recognition that there is an urgent need to encourage economic growth in the UK economy, the Deputy Prime Minister has come up with very little positive action to help stimulate the recovery.

Commenting on the speech, Michael Ankers, chief executive of the Construction Products Association said: ‘It is encouraging that the government recognises the huge potential for infrastructure investment in kick starting private sector economic growth. However, it continues to preside over a public sector spending budget in which current expenditure continues to grow and will rise by a further 10% over the next four years, whilst capital expenditure is set to fall by 20% over the same period. Nothing in the speech suggests that the government is intending to address this imbalance.

‘While it is encouraging that government is looking to attract foreign investment into infrastructure investment in the UK, it needs to do more to create a framework whereby UK financial institutions can also invest in long term infrastructure projects. There is no shortage of capital that companies are looking to invest and the government has to do more to ensure that this finds its way into the kind of key infrastructure projects that Nick Clegg refers to in his speech.

‘Finally, the government has to resist attempts to hijack the proposed reforms of the planning system. For too long our cumbersome planning processes have held back both public and private investment in this country and the draft National Planning Policy Framework sets out a far more positive approach that will encourage the right kind of investments in the right places.’

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