Press Releases

HISTORIC PRESS RELEASE : Investing in Britain´s Infrastructure [December 2002]

The press release issued by HM Treasury on 17 December 2002.

Plans for investing in Britain’s infrastructure over the next three years are published today.

The Treasury has published a White Paper which sets out the Government’s overall investment strategy up to 2005-06. It also summarises the more detailed plans in the investment strategies produced by each department.

Over the next three years, an additional £12 billion of public money will be invested in our public services, including:

£3 billion for improved buildings and equipment for our schools;
£2.5 billion for the NHS to modernise our hospitals and health care facilities;
£2 billion to invest in transport infrastructure; and
£1 billion to improve our housing stock.
By 2006, net investment in our public services is projected to be almost five times higher than in 1997.

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Paul Boateng, said:

“Since 1997, the Government has been committed to reversing the legacy of under-investment in Britain’s infrastructure. Much has been achieved, but there is a lot still to do. That is why the 2002 Spending Review will continue this ambitious programme, by providing an additional £12 billion of extra public investment over the next three years. All that extra investment will be matched by reform, to ensure that we get the most for the new money.”

Each main department will shortly be publishing an investment strategy. The purpose of the strategies is to set out:

the public service outcomes that will be achieved with the new funding committed in the 2002 Spending Review;
the significant progress that has been achieved since the last strategies were published in 2000;
the improvements that departments have put in place to improve the management of the assets they own; and
the reforms of procedures and systems put in place to get best value for money from the extra spending.
The White Paper explains the wider reform framework that the Government has put in place, including:

the publication of the National Asset Register – an international landmark in transparency and accountability;
the introduction of full resource accounting and budgeting – making the UK one of the few countries in the world which has to report its financial information in the same way as private sector companies; and
publication of updated Departmental Investment Strategies, reporting on progress and setting out plans for the next three years.