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Mon April 12 2021

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Osborne launches Infrastructure Commission with £100bn commitment

30 Oct 15 Chancellor George Osborne has launched the National Infrastructure commission and committed £100bn of spending in this Parliament on roads, rail and other projects.

Osborne has promised full funding for the £15bn Roads Investment Strategy.

The Treasury expects to raise billions of pounds through a suite of asset sales, which will be ploughed back into infrastructure projects, with more details to be announced at the Spending Review.

The commission will be led by former Cabinet minister Lord Adonis. Other commissioners are:

  • Lord Heseltine – the former deputy prime minister who has long championed the regeneration of Britain’s inner cities through infrastructure investment
  • Sir John Armitt – the former chair of the Olympic Delivery Authority, and next year’s President of the Institute of Civil Engineers
  • Professor Tim Besley – a former member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee and the LSE’s Growth Commission, which recommended an independent infrastructure body
  • Demis Hassabis – artificial intelligence researcher, neuroscientist and head of DeepMind Technologies
  • Sadie Morgan – a founding director of dRMM Architects and Design Panel Chair of HS2
  • Bridget Rosewell – a senior adviser at Volterra and former Chief Economist and Chief Economic Adviser to the Greater London Authority
  • Sir Paul Ruddock – chairman of the Victoria & Albert Museum and the University of Oxford Endowment.

The commission will produce a report at the start of each five-year Parliament, offering recommendations for priority infrastructure projects.

Its initial focus will be in three key areas:

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  • Northern connectivity, particularly identifying priorities for future investment in the North’s strategic transport infrastructure to improve connectivity between cities, especially east-west across the Pennines
  • London’s transport system, particularly reviewing strategic options and identifying priorities for future investment in large scale transport improvements – on road, rail and underground – including Crossrail 2
  • Energy, particularly exploring how the UK can better balance supply and demand, aiming for an energy market where prices are reflective of costs to the overall system.

Osborne said: “I am determined to shake Britain out of its inertia on infrastructure and end the situation where we trail our rivals when it comes to building everything from the housing to the power stations that our children will need.

“We must be the builders. At the Spending Review, I will commit to investing £100bn in infrastructure over the next five years and we are creating an independent commission to give us a long-term, unbiased analysis of the country’s major infrastructure needs.

“We need to think long-term and deliver a cross-party consensus on what we need to build. I am delighted Andrew Adonis and this world-class group of experts have agreed to come together on the National Infrastructure Commission to help us do that.”

Lord Adonis said: “For Britain to get on with the job of delivering high-quality infrastructure that benefits everyone, you need more than just a commitment to invest – you need long term forward plans and the maximum possible consensus.

“That is what the National Infrastructure Commission is here to promote.”

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