The National Infrastructure Plan, under which £200bn will be invested in transport, communications and renewable energy projects; was first announced by prime minister David Cameron just over a year ago.
Tomorrow’s update goes into more detail about which projects are set to benefit and where the money will come from. According to Osborne pension funds and investment from China will be the main sources of funding.
According to reports upgrades are set include:
- Increased capacity on parts of the M25 motorway;
- Extension of London’s Northern Line to Battersea;
- Halving the toll to pass over the Humber Bridge in Yorkshire;
- Improved motorway access to Manchester airport;
- Development of the Tyne and Wear Metro; and
- Congestion easing on the Tollbar End roundabout in the West Midlands.
It follows the announcement of a £20bn national loan guarantee scheme which will underwrite small business loans and, ministers hope, decrease the cost of borrowing for small businesses by around 20 per cent.
Speaking on Sunday’s Andrew Marr show, the chancellor said he was using the strength of the UK’s credit rating to pass on the benefits of cheap loans. He added that the scheme could be extended to £40bn if successful.
“The government will underwrite the loans the banks make to small business in order to cut the interest rates that they pay,” he said on the BBC show.
Meanwhile, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has urged the government to refocus its stimulus plan toward job creation and relief for public sector workers. It is campaigning for measures such as a cut in VAT, ending a freeze on public sector wages and a one-off increase in child benefits before Christmas.
The Autumn Statement is the Tory government’s version of the old pre-Budget report. In it George Osborne will announce revisions to predictions for economic growth; new spending priorities and any alterations to the tax regime.
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