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National Infrastructure Plan

Volume 567: debated on Tuesday 10 September 2013

The Government will invest £300 billion over the next Parliament on infrastructure projects, including a pipeline worth more than £100 billion, and covering investment in transport, schools, science, housing and flood defences.

Since the Government took office, tens of thousands of jobs have been lost in the construction sector. I am deeply concerned that more than 80% of the Treasury’s infrastructure projects have not yet even started. Can the Minister explain to the House why there has been such a delay and what he will do to kick-start the process?

It is interesting that the hon. Lady did not mention the Armitt review, which was set up by the shadow Chancellor. Perhaps it is because Mr Armitt concluded that there was an economic crisis when this Government took office and she does not want to draw attention to it. However, she will be reassured to know that the Government take infrastructure investment very seriously. It is a top priority, which is why public investment under this Government is higher in each year of this Parliament than under the previous Government’s plans, as well as being higher as a percentage of national income.

A crucial part of our national infrastructure is broadband for the 21st century. Will the Minister join me in congratulating Worcestershire county council on its excellent plans to put 90% of homes and businesses on superfast broadband?

My hon. Friend is right to draw attention to what is a hugely important plan for the residents of Worcestershire, which includes my constituents in Bromsgrove. We are right to make that investment, because it will make a real difference.