Civils contractors today welcomed Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s 2021 Budget by saying that the Government is right to back the infrastructure sector as an engine of growth.
The Chancellor unveiled a range of measures to help the UK recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, including the extension of the furlough, the creation of a new UK infrastructure bank, the creation of free ports in England, and a number of growth and city deals.
Commenting, Chief Executive of the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) Alasdair Reisner said: “We were not anticipating a range of new announcements on infrastructure today, as the Chancellor was setting out details of the ‘fiscal firepower’ needed to support jobs during the pandemic for the remainder of this year.
“Nonetheless it is welcome that to accompany the Budget HM Treasury has published Build Back Better: Our Plan for Growth, which recognises that the UK has historically underinvested in infrastructure, and details an initial £100 billion of capital investment in 2021-22 to begin to remedy this fact.
“The creation of the new UK Infrastructure Bank will help to level up the UK by investing in local authority and private sector projects, as well as providing an advisory function to help with the delivery of schemes on the ground.
“Similarly we were pleased to see greater incentivisation for employers to take on apprentices, which will help to tackle the skills shortages our sector faces.
“The UK must maintain momentum in its commitment to infrastructure to level up the economy, create jobs, and build back better.
“We look forward to working with the UK Government and CECA members to bring forward schemes to market and deliver on the ground, driving economic growth and creating jobs in all parts of the UK.”