Javid to announce fresh infrastructure investment plan
Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid is expected to announce the first phase of the government’s infrastructure delivery plan worth £25 billion at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester this week.
As part of the plan, Javid is likely to outline the ways in which the government expects to use the funds. Specifically, the money will support the development of 14 new local road schemes, £220 million will be invested to boost bus services, and £5 billion will go towards the roll-out of 5G and full-fibre internet networks to reach rural areas across the country.
Nicky Morgan, the Digital and Culture Secretary, said: "I am delighted that we will invest £5bn to bring gigabit-capable broadband to those hard-to-reach parts of the UK ensuring that rural areas are not left behind.
"Our country’s digital infrastructure is essential to our future economic growth and productivity and we want everyone in the UK to benefit from world-class connectivity no matter where they live or work."
Adding to this, Javid is expected to say: “Investment in our infrastructure will be key to making the next decade one of renewal – boosting our economy and making life easier for people all across the country.
“This new multi-billion-pound investment to deliver gigabit-capable broadband for all the UK and investment in roads and buses will help people to get around and businesses to grow, ensuring no community is left behind.
“This will make the UK a better place to live and work, extending opportunity and raising living standards for all.”
The Labour Party, however, has criticised the proposed announcements for being well out of the government’s limits, and a case of “all talk and no walk.”
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, John McDonnell, said: “One hundred and thirteen times more for roads than for public transport makes a mockery of the Tories' so-called green credentials.
“And yet another headline pledge, this time on broadband, turns out to be false: Boris Johnson called for full-fibre for all premises by 2025, but the chancellor now says he'll invest £5bn in lower grade 'gigabit-capable' technology, less than a sixth of what it will take to deliver full-fibre to all.”