Oct 22, 2018

Budget 2018: Why is it so hard to spend money on roads and rail?

At the 2017 election, the Conservative manifesto included infrastructure in the first of its "Five giant challenges" and mentioned infrastructure 26 times, while Labour pledged to spend an extra £250bn over 10 years on infrastructure. The Office for Budget Responsibility, which assesses the government's Budget plans, is currently forecasting that over the next five years the government will invest £17.5bn less in capital projects than it has said it will. In 2008-10, the Labour government actually managed to spend more than it had said it would. PA. There are several reasons why governments generally spend less than they planned to on capital investments. In recent years, there have been some examples of public services taking money that they were supposed to be spending on investment and using it for day-to-day spending instead. This year, for example, the Department of Health and Social Care switched £1bn from the money it was supposed to spend on capital investment and used it for day-to-day expenses "To meet spending pressures".

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