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Autumn Statement 2016

Autumn Statement 2016 comment: Building roads and bridges will not solve the UK’s produc.....

In response to the Chancellor’s announcements around boosting infrastructure, Paul Dossett, Partner at Grant Thornton, UK LLP, said:

Building roads and bridges will not solve the UK’s productivity problem

“Our research with the CEBR has found that if UK productivity reached that of the G7 it would boost GDP by £382bn by 2025. While the government’s focus on infrastructure is welcome, building houses, roads and broadband networks is not the sole answer to addressing the productivity gap between the capital and the rest of the UK. Our shows the challenges faced by many places in the UK is cultural. Infrastructure is important but building roads and bridges will not solve the productivity problem alone. Instead, we need to start at school, build aspirations and community involvement, and focus on measures that will improve not only economic prosperity but increase the health, happiness and wellbeing of the population.”

Housing measures must be focused on increasing supply

“It is encouraging to see investment prioritised to support delivery of desperately needed new homes, particularly in those areas with the highest demand where availability of homes represents a key barrier to creating a vibrant economy. We await with interest the eligibility criteria for the Infrastructure Fund and the terms under which the fund is able to invest – these will be key to understanding the potential impact of the Fund and its attractiveness to the home building sector. The practicalities of delivering Right to Buy in the social housing sector are still not resolved and there are real concerns that it could lead to a decrease in the amount of housing stock. This comes at a time when unaffordable rents are pushing more people into homelessness, in turn increasing costs on local government.”