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Political dithering not financing structure is still the investment killer

Political dithering not financing structure is still the investment killer, says Antony Oliver, editor of Infrastructure Intelligence, the new industry media resource from the Association of Consultancy and Engineering.

“Hitting the targets set by the UK National Infrastructure Plan means that over the next couple of years annual infrastructure investment has to ramp from the current rather pedestrian pace of around £18bn a year to something closer to £45bn,” he said. “And with 65% of this expected to come from the private sector, the obvious question remains how is investment pace going to be lifted? The answer of course, is that it almost certainly isn’t going to be.”

Writing in this week, Oliver points out that while there is an appetite for investing and plenty of money around globally to invest, there simply are not sufficient “quality” projects with the right political risk profile to enable the required investment levels to be met.

“It is time government woke up and took the lead. Rather than ministers protesting that our road network is best off relying on public cash, they must surely embrace the fact that UK infrastructure will only be renewed - as we know it must be – with the involvement of private investment,” he says. “One way or another, the consumer will pay.  Government‘s job is to provide the necessary leadership and support, take difficult decisions and make long term policy. It is dithering by politicians not project finance structures that kills investment opportunity.”

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