From the TUC

Boosting infrastructure in the PBR

24 Nov 2008, by in Economics, Environment

The use of this year’s Pre Budget Report (PBR) to bring foward Government spending on large infrastructure projects was trailed so long ago that it feels like old news. Nevertheless, today saw details of those projects announced by the Chancellor.

Most were very worthwhile. Surely no-one (with the possible exception of the Conservatives) will criticise the bringing forward of £800 million in the priority schools capital programme or £100 million to advance the upgrading of up to 600 GP surgeries to training practices.

As with other parts of the PBR, there was a green tinge to some of these announcements, with the acceleration of up to 200 new carriages on the rail network, £200 million on Decent Homes programmes to fund improvements and improve energy efficiency in 24,000 council homes, and £100 million of additional funding for the Warm Front programme.

Money to advance existing plans to increase capacity on motorways and other critical highways doesn’t pass the green test, but there’s an argument to say that if we are to have motorways, let’s have high quality ones.

The TUC welcomes this boost to infrastructure, on its own terms: as part of a fiscal boost to help deal with the recession. We are clear, however, that this package does not replace the need for a modern, intelligent industrial strategy. A long term plan to build skills and industrial strength in high growth, strategic industrial sectors remains a TUC priority and one which will become more important as we reshape the British economy after the recession is over.

One Response to Boosting infrastructure in the PBR

  1. sherry
    Nov 24th 2008, 7:22 pm

    Any way you slice this, our economy is in very dark and disturbing times. We are standing on the edge of an abyss with one foot half way already down into it. It seems like as a nation we are running around like chickens with our heads cut off. Everyone knows we are in deep despair but no one seems to be able to agree on what to do about it. So much attention has been given to the mortgage crisis that little attention or credit for what the high cost of fuel this past year has played in our downward spiral. That one single factor caused families to break the budget at the pump alone. Consumer goods in every capacity from production to shipping passed the increased costs on to us. (and most products now cost more and come in smaller packages) Electric companies sought and were granted huge price increases. We cut back, quit going out to eat as much or at all, quit spending on frills and even necessities, that sadly resulted in even more jobs being lost. It has been a real catch-22 in the economy. Record jobs and homes are being lost still. Unemployment is climbing every day. While most of the public seem to be doing the happy dance around the pumps, and reporters are reporting the happy dance, little is being reported about OPEC’s plans to keep cutting production and they will until they get prices back up where they want them to be. The average family is so far behind they will never get caught up. Jeff Wilson has an interesting book just out called The Manhattan Project of 2009. I heard him on a radio talk show interview and he blew me out of the water. I got his book on Amazon. I think we are going about this whole thing wrong. WE keep spending billions on bailouts and stimulus checks. Why not invest in creating improved grids, infrastructures, and creating millions of badly needed new green collar jobs? The last stimulus package cost us 168 BILLION and did NOTHING to stimulate our economy. That would have gone a long way toward starting up alternative energy projects and creating new jobs. Check out what they are doing in California.Check out this link to read the news. This is so exciting for those who realize the importance of seeing out country transfrom away from fossil fuels and to cleaner, cheaper electric cars. I read about this in Jeff Wilson’s book The Manhattan Project of 2009. I am thrilled and surpriesed to see it taking place so soon. Go The Manhattan Project of 2009, Go Jeff Wilson for writing this enlightening book, Go California, Go Arnold, and GO BETTER PLACE…IT IS ENCOURAGING TO SEE THERE ARE THOSE OUT THERE WHO ACTUALLY GET IT. HOPEFULLY WASHINGTON WILL FOLLOW SUITE SOON! Link to news story below or simply type electric car infrastructure california or Better Place into search engine. weblog/2008/11/better-place-gl.html