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National Infrastructure Commission: Consultation

Volume 604: debated on Thursday 7 January 2016

Today I have laid the “National Infrastructure Commission consultation document” CM 9182. The consultation will be an opportunity for the public to respond to suggestions about the governance, structure and operation of the National Infrastructure Commission. The consultation will last for 10 weeks until 17 March 2016.

On 5 October 2015, the Chancellor announced the creation of the National Infrastructure Commission to provide expert independent analysis of the long-term infrastructure needs of the country. The commission has been operating in shadow form since then. This consultation document envisages primary legislation to put the commission on a permanent footing and give it the power to access the information and analysis necessary to fulfilling its functions.

It is proposed that the commission will produce a national infrastructure assessment once in every Parliament, setting out its analysis of the UK’s infrastructure needs over a 10 to 30-year time horizon. The Government will then be obliged formally to respond to the commission’s recommendations. The commission will also examine the most pressing and significant infrastructure challenges in studies commissioned by the Government.

This consultation document proposes to set a remit for the commission which will ensure that it recommends infrastructure that is sustainable and affordable and that offers real economic benefits. The Government welcome responses to the consultation document.