ICE’s State of the Nation 2018: Infrastructure Investment report explores opportunities to improve the flow of investment and examines funding mechanisms to ensure that affordable infrastructure is viable long into the future.
Four of the report’s recommendations, aimed at government, focus on sector-specific ideas to help ensure clear and sustainable lines of finance in the future. The others relate to overarching government policy which has the ability to influence and change future funding and finance.
The recommendations are:
Sector-specific interventions to enhance infrastructure investment
- The Government should give serious consideration to replacing the existing generation of road taxes with a pay as you go model for the busiest roads in England.
- Energy storage and other emerging technologies should receive enhanced Government support through appropriate mechanisms drawing on the successful impact of Contracts for Difference on the renewable energy market.
- Water Asset Management Periods should be flexible enough to enable the planning and delivery of long-term programmes, which meet future demand caused by demographic and climate changes and enable more effective financial planning.
- Market-led proposals in rail should be reformed in a way which simplifies applications and respects the sharing of intellectual property from all bidders.
Overarching policy recommendations for Government
- The feasibility of establishing a UK Investment Bank should be explored as a contingency against a loss of access to low-cost anchor finance from the European Investment Bank and to maintain domestic expertise in infrastructure investment.
- Active steps should be taken to facilitate the use of alternative funding and financing mechanisms, including asset recycling, land value capture and crowdfunding.
- The National Infrastructure Commission should be placed on a statutory footing in the long term to ensure its permanence and enhance its ability to give independent expert advice.
- The National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline should support the investor community through providing increased detail of the risk and viability of individual projects.
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