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Sun November 18 2018

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2018 budget reaction: Consultants claim their voice is heard

30 Oct The Association for Consultancy & Engineering (ACE) says that the fact that it got three out of four things that it lobbied for demonstrate its lobbying prowess.

ACE chief executive Hannah Vickers said that the chancellor’s 2018 budget “showed that he was listening” to consulting engineers, even if there was not actually much in it.

"Given so much of our short to medium term economic outlook is riding on negotiations with the EU this was, as expected, a budget short on new measures and announcements,” she said. “However, we welcome today’s statement as it does recognise the importance of infrastructure investment to building the economy that the UK needs if it is to meet public expectations around housing, jobs and wages.”

She continued: “In the run up to the budget, I called on the chancellor to deliver the national infrastructure assessment as outlined by the National Infrastructure Commission, increase investment in the UK road network, release the remainder of the construction sector deal funding, and to reform local infrastructure financing.

"The chancellor today showed that he was listening to ACE and its members by supporting three out of four of our recommendations. However, it is disappointing that we have not had a commitment to completing the construction sector deal and I continue to urge the government to bring forth proposals on how this can be delivered.

“The government may wish to call an end to the era of austerity but we will only be able to build a truly secure and prosperous economic future if we invest in the infrastructure and housing that the UK needs. This budget is a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done to turn aspiration into delivery. ACE’s members stand ready to do their part to make this happen."

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