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CBI calls for housing to be treated as infrastructure

CBI calls for housing to be treated as infrastructure

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has called for housing to be included in the government's National Infrastructure Investment, a move backed by the National Housing Federation (NHF).

In its submission to the government ahead of the Autumn Statement, the CBI included housing alongside roads and railways as it called for the level of public spending on infrastructure to be raised to two per cent of GDP, instead of the 1.7 per cent it is set to be over the course of the current parliament. This would mean an extra £6 billion of investment.

This included some specific calls, such as for £425 million to be spent on fast-tracked schemes such as dualling the A1 From Newcastle to Scotland, and the transformation of the A303/A30/A358 in the south-west into an expressway running down to Land's End.

CBI infrastructure director Rhian Kelly said the Autumn Statement was likely to be a "major reset of economic policy" following the Brexit vote, and said the importance of infrastructure investment will be greater than ever in the current economic circumstances.

She said that this must go beyond "big ticket" construction projects, although the CBI has welcomed the go-ahead at Hinckley. The submission said the government needed a clearer energy policy to help development and investment in this area.

Responding to the CBI calls over housing, NHF head of policy Rachel Fisher said the idea of considering homes as a part of infrastructure is one it and the CBI are in agreement on.

She commented: "It is hugely encouraging that the business and housing sectors are speaking together as one voice to recognise that housing is both a social and economic challenge.

"Clearly the government must take a strategic view of solving the country’s housing crisis and ensure that funding for vital new affordable housing is both flexible and focused on meeting the needs of the nation."

Image: iStock/monkeybusinessimages


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