Daily Express

Biggest building project in history to get UK moving

- By Sam Lister Deputy Political Editor

RISHI Sunak turned on the spending taps with £ 640billion to fund Britain’s biggest building programme.

Cash will be shovelled into roads, rail, housing and broadband over the he next five years in a giveaway way Budget that will “lay the foundation­s for a decade of growth”. owth”.

Investment will reach levels evels not seen since 1955 as the Government charges ahead with plans to boost economic growth outside London and the South- east.

Mr Sunak said: “If the country needs it we will build it.”

The Chancellor had been en tipped to drop fiscal rules that set limits on day- to- day spending but told MPs they remain in place and his plans meet the terms.

By 2024 day- to- day spending on public services ces will be £ 100 billion higher in cash terms than it is today.

And the splurge on capital tal spending – cash for major jor infrastruc­ture projects – is triple the average amount unt invested in the last 40 years. rs.

In his first budget – just four weeks after taking over the job from Sajid Javid – Mr Sunak hailed the “biggest programme of public investment ment ever”. It included £ 27billion llion for roads, £ 2.5billion for potholes, new railways and stations and £ 5billion for broadband.

He said: “We promised to get Britain building – this Budget is getting it done. I’m announcing the biggest ever investment in strategic roads and motorway – over £ 27billion of tarmac. That will pay for work on over 20 connection­s to ports and airports, over 100 junctions, 4,000 miles of road.

“I’m announcing new investment in local roads, alongside a new £ 2.5billion pothole fund – that’s £ 500million every single year; enough to fill, by the end of the Parliament, 50 million potholes.

“Our ambition is truly nation

al.” The projects include a longpromis­ed road tunnel beneath Stonehenge on the A303, upgrades to the A417 in the South- west, the A428 in the East and the A46 in the Midlands.

Work will also take place to unclog Manchester’s arteries and free traffic north of Newcastle

A Pant- Llanymynec­h bypass will

also be built to protect Welsh Borders beauty spots

Mr Sunak pledged to change the whole mindset of Government to boost the UK’s nations and regions.

A new devolution deal will give West Yorkshire a directly elected mayor who, along with seven other metro mayors, will get Londonstyl­e transport funding settlement­s worth £ 4 4.2billion. 2billion An extra £ 640million was announced for the Scottish government, £ 360million for the Welsh government and £ 210million for the Northern Ireland executive, while £ 242million of funding for city and growth deals will be made available.

A £ 1.2billion transformi­ng cities fund will be invested in projects that are ready to go, including new cycle- bus lanes in Bournemout­h, Derby and Nottingham, investment in public transport in Leicester and £ 198million for the North- east that will partly fund improvemen­ts on the Metro.

Sheffield and Southampto­n will get cash for rapid bus links.

Around £ 40million will go towards the new Cottam Parkway station outside Preston, while Halifax will be given funding for a new bus station.

Mr Sunak said he was providing

£ 200million for flood resilience and would double investment in flood defences.

The Chancellor is also extending the affordable homes programme with a new settlement of £ 12.2billion to be delivered over five years from next year, the largest cash investment in affordable housing in a decade, he said.

Almost £ 1.1billion from the Housing Infrastruc­ture Fund will go towards building around 70,000 new homes es in high demand areas across the country.

The £ 5billion of investment in broadband will allow full- fibre and gigabit- capable networks to every home and business in Britain within five years.

 ??  ?? Rishi Sunak makes sure he looks his best before leaving No 11 yesterday. He got the thumbs up from predecesso­r Sajid Javid
Rishi Sunak makes sure he looks his best before leaving No 11 yesterday. He got the thumbs up from predecesso­r Sajid Javid
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