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News » UK » Civils contractors set out their budget pitch » published 22 Feb 2013

Civils contractors set out their budget pitch

The Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) has sent a list of what it considers to be the nation’s infrastructure priorities to chancellor George Osborne in a bid to influence his budget statement next month.

In its pre-budget submission, CECA sets out a number of areas in which it believes the Chancellor can take action.

CECA’s suggestions include help to get stalled smaller projects under way, clarity on guarantees and more pressure on the banks to help businesses.

Unblocking local projects: CECA supports the focus that government has had on the streamlined development of projects of strategic national importance. However, there are thousands of smaller infrastructure projects nation-wide that are currently struggling to move from planning to delivery. CECA calls for government support, where appropriate, to assist industry to unlock these projects.

Clarity on UK Guarantees Scheme: CECA welcomed the passage of the Infrastructure (Financial Assistance) Act which enabled the government to guarantee up to £40bn of infrastructure work. Since the launch of the UK Guarantees Scheme in summer 2012, more than 60 projects have sought details of the scheme. CECA wants to see this interest converted into confirmed guarantees for new projects, allowing industry the visibility of opportunities that this would create.

A stable and competitive financial sector: CECA believes that the Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS), launched last year, could increase lending to business and help boost the economy. However, there has yet to be any significantly increased feed-through to business lending, it says. CECA has called on the chancellor to ensure that the government makes a more aggressive effort to ensure lenders take up funds, and promote the scheme.

Commenting, CECA director of external affairs Alasdair Reisner said: “CECA welcomes the government’s focus on infrastructure provision as the central pillar of its recovery strategy.

“At the same time, we believe there are steps that Mr Osborne can take in this budget which will increase workloads and help return the economy to growth in the short to medium-term.

“We call on government and industry to work together to find ways to unblock smaller projects as quickly as possible, provide greater clarity regarding the UK Guarantees Scheme, and establish a stable and competitive financial sector that will work with the infrastructure sector in leading a return to growth.”





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This article was published on 22 Feb 2013 (last updated on 22 Feb 2013).

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