By Daniel Hunter
Government plans for £310 billion worth of infrastructure spending have been called into question by MPs on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
The MPs have questioned whether or not the plans are "credible". Under the National Infrastructure Plan, which was launched in 2010, the Treasury expects that £200bn of the total will come from private funds.
The PAC report questioned whether both the public and private money can be raised in the current economic climate.
"Planning and delivering vital long-term infrastructure is a central economic priority, that's why we launched the first ever National Infrastructure Plan, setting out a strategic approach that monitors the performance of our key infrastructure sectors and identifies the projects needed to build an economy fit for the future," A Treasury spokesman said.
"Government regularly monitors progress and at the Budget published details of delivery of the top 40 infrastructure projects."
The PAC urged the government to be "realistic" about how much money would be raised.
"We are not convinced that a plan requiring £310bn of investment in infrastructure is credible given the current economic climate, the cutbacks in public finances and the difficulty in raising private finance for projects on acceptable terms," they said.
John Cridland, CBI Director-General, said: “I have a queue of businesses at my door telling me delivery of the Government’s Infrastructure Plan needs speeding up. The new guarantees scheme has so far only managed to deliver two projects. More are in the pipeline but we need them delivered.
“We need ministers to pick three or four big infrastructure projects that demonstrate to investors what we can acheive and then doing everything in their power to see them through.
“We need to get the planning system working effectively, use the guarantees scheme flexibly and get these projects over the line. This is how we demonstrate to global investors that UK infrastructure is a prize worth pursuing, drive construction activity and build a platform for future prosperity.”
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