IFG - Government must improve the way it makes infrastructure decisions
The Government’s inability to make smart decisions on badly needed infrastructure means rail, road and energy improvements are being delivered late, over-budget and – in some cases – not at all, finds a new report.
Published today by the Institute for Government, How to transform infrastructure decision making in the UK says that Great Western cost overruns and delays to South East airport expansion show the current process isn’t keeping up with the demands of a modern economy. The UK should learn from other countries, such as France and the Netherlands, which have better decision making processes
The report also finds that government favours private finance for infrastructure projects, but there is limited evidence that it offers better value. Government should put more effort into gathering evidence on different kinds of projects.
While civil service commercial skills have improved, the recent collapse of Carillion, seemingly in part due to losses on three private finance deals, highlights the need for better management of these contracts.
The report recommends that the Government:
- create an infrastructure strategy for the entire country
- improve the way it uses cost benefit analysis and develop evidence for finance options
- establish a Commission for Public Engagement to involve local communities in major projects
- give the National Infrastructure Commission greater independence.
Nick Davies, Associate Director at the Institute for Government, said:
“The UK desperately needs an infrastructure strategy to address regional inequalities, worsening productivity levels and the housing crisis. But the Government’s decision-making process remains short-sighted and major infrastructure projects cost the taxpayer more than they should.
“While the UK needs to invest more in infrastructure, investments must be made wisely. Picking the most cost-effective options at every stage – from project selection to finance option – is critical.”
Notes to editors
- The full paper – How to transform infrastructure decision making in the UK – can be found on our website (from 00.01).
- The Institute for Government is an independent think tank that works to make government more effective.
- This report draws together the findings of a year-long Institute for Government research programme on improving infrastructure decision making in the UK.
- For more information, please contact email@example.com / 07825 021 538.
Latest News from
IEA releases new, comprehensive book on socialism21/02/2019 12:35:00
Today the Institute of Economic Affairs unveils a new book from our Head of Political Economy Dr Kristian Niemietz: ‘Socialism: the failed idea that never dies’.
IFS - New proposals for council funding formula would hit deprived areas21/02/2019 11:35:00
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) is seeking views on the approach to measuring the relative needs and resources of local authorities. This consultation will close on 21 February 2019. IFS researchers Neil Amin-Smith, Tom Harris and David Phillips have submitted evidence.
We are entering an age of unprecedented environmental breakdown, IPPR warns21/02/2019 10:35:00
Deadly combination of damage to land, soil, air, water and animal populations alongside climate change is creating catastrophic global risk, says IPPR report
JRF - Universal Credit can loosen the grip of poverty, but further reform is needed21/02/2019 09:35:00
Universal Credit has the potential to help families locked in poverty, but the Government must make urgent improvements in its design, funding and delivery if it is not to drive some towards destitution, according to new analysis by the independent Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
NIESR Monthly Wage Tracker – Nominal pay growing at fastest rate for a decade, but expected to stabilise in short term20/02/2019 14:25:00
Nominal pay growing at fastest rate for a decade, but expected to stabilise in short term.
Adam Smith Inst - Britain must build up, out and all about19/02/2019 11:35:00
In a new paper for the Adam Smith Institute, Senior Fellow Nigel Hawkins sets out eight ways that Britain could increase the level of housebuilding at a national and local level.
JRF - People in poverty must not pay the price for Brexit19/02/2019 10:35:00
Coalition demand Government action to protect struggling families.
IFS - The government’s proposals for the reform of business rates retention need further work19/02/2019 09:35:00
Ahead of a proposed move from 50% to 75% business rates retention in April 2020, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is seeking views on its proposals for the reform of certain elements of the business rates retention system in England. IFS researchers Neil Amin-Smith and David Phillips have submitted evidence.