Private finance ‘vital’ for future security of waste infrastructure

Private finance must play a vital role in delivering new national infrastructure, including waste facilities, if the UK is to remain competitive, the CBI has warned today (August 25).

The confederation says the UK badly needs to invest in meeting a national need for improved infrastructure, to ensure it doesn’t fall behind its competitors – and that much of the investment to build this will need to come from private finance initiatives.

In its report, Building strong foundations: Financing UK infrastructure, the CBI puts forward a package of measures to boost infrastructure investment through effective public-private partnerships.

Among these is the call for new legislation to extend local authority borrowing powers to enable them to accelerate tax increment funding schemes. The report also suggests the Government should set out a clear plan for future infrastructure to allow businesses and investors to invest with confidence, with a five-year outlook.

In addition, planning reforms must focus on removing delays and uncertainties, and lean procurement techniques used, stripping out bureaucracy for private-public partnership projects to maximise savings.

CBI’s deputy director-general, Dr Neil Bentley, CBI said: “We want the Government to publish a clear, long-term pipeline of projects so that investors can have the confidence to put their money in the UK.”

He added: “PFI mustn’t be viewed as the solution on every occasion, but when it has been used effectively it has delivered huge improvements in the UK’s infrastructure.

“Businesses understand that the use of PFI must evolve and that we need to develop new ways to pay for our infrastructure. But ministers must stand up for the role that private finance has to play and decide sooner rather than later how to use it to best effect.”

Maxine Perella

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