Britain aims to spend £2bn for research and development, £2.1bn for housing, £1.1bn for roads and £290m for telecoms by the end of 2021. The plan follows the Autumn Statement document released by Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer confirming that the government wanted to see billions of pounds of Treasury backed infrastructure bonds through a rebranding of the UK Guarantee scheme. The scheme enables the Treasury to issue an unconditional and irrevocable guarantee to the lenders to infrastructure projects ensuring that scheduled interest and principal payments will be paid in full, irrespective of project performance. The scheme has so far supported billions of pounds worth of investment in multiple ventures including the London Underground’s Northern line extension to Battersea. This rise in infrastructure spending still remains low by international standards according to Richard Threlfall, head of infrastructure at KPMG. However, despite all of these statements it has been reported in the Financial Times that there is scepticism from industry as to whether the government will deliver real improvements following a decline in infrastructure spending since the vote to leave the EU.
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