Following Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s speech on the economy earlier today, Kevin Minton, Chief Executive of the Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA) said:
“‘The Chancellor is right to focus on lowering inflation and working towards economic stability, however we need to address and improve the UK’s performance on business investment if we are to compete in the international environment. Committing to deliver HS2 is vital in building business confidence, driving economic growth, and improving the UK’s rail infrastructure.”
“We also need the connectivity that comes from better infrastructure.
“That is why in the Autumn Statement we protected key projects like HS2, East West Rail and core Northern Powerhouse Rail.
“Digital connectivity matters as well. Under Michelle’s leadership, full-fibre broadband now available to more than 40% of all homes in the UK.
“Last year four million more premises got access, with the biggest increases in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
“But the ‘E’ of Everywhere has to be about local wealth creation as much as about local infrastructure.
“So this year we will announce investment zones, mini-Canary Wharfs, supporting each one of our growth industries, and each one focused in high potential but underperforming areas, in line with our mission to level up.
“They will be focused on our research strengths and executed in partnership with local government, with advantageous fiscal treatment to attract new investment.
“We will shortly start a process to identify exactly where they will go.”