At the most recent Conservative Party conference in Manchester, George Osborne used his speech to boast “we are the builders”. But does his claim stand up to scrutiny? The statistics on infrastructure spending doesn’t seem to back up the assertion. After cuts at the beginning of the decade, spending on infrastructure has crept up, but arguably still has a way to go before it is catching up with the international average.
Infrastructure has been identified by both government and business as badly needing investment over the coming decades. Whether it’s the regeneration of Britain’s roads, new high speed rail links linking London to the North, or indeed ensuring that every region of the UK has access to high speed broadband, infrastructure potentially holds the key to providing hundreds of new jobs and unlocking access to new markets.