The government will announce “record” spending levels on infrastructure projects in Wednesday’s Budget, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak has promised.
Speaking to the BBC, The Treasury said the government is pledging to triple the average net investment on transport, broadband and affordable housing over the past 40 years.
It said the measure would lead to the “highest levels in real terms since 1955”, amounting to more than £600 billion over the course of this Parliament.
The Chancellor said: “We have listened and will now deliver on our promise to level up the UK, ensuring everyone has the same chances and opportunities in life, wherever they live.
“By investing historic amounts in British innovation and world-class infrastructure, we will rebalance opportunities and lay the foundations for a decade of growth for everybody.”
It comes as the government faces calls and pressure to focus Mr Sunak’s first Budget statement on a short-term response to the Coronavirus outbreak.
It is not yet clear, however, how the government will fund the increased spending given its own fiscal rules on borrowing set out in its manifesto.
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell described the pledge as “exaggerated claims”.
He said: “We’ve heard it all before. The Chancellor seems to have forgotten we have to dig ourselves out of the £192bn hole in our infrastructure spend created by his government.
“Boris Johnson has a track record of boastful claims followed by non delivery and it looks like he is running true to form.”