28 Nov 2011

Osborne to announce £5bn investment programme

Chancellor George Osborne is set to inject an extra £5bn of capital investment in a bid to stop Britain’s economy from falling back into a recession.

The investment programme, called the National Infrastructure Plan, will form part of an overall £30bn infrastructure programme and is set to be announced in the chancellor’s autumn statement on Tuesday.

It is expected that £600m of the £5bn, which will be part funded by Chinese investment, will go towards a schools programme to fund an extra 40,000 school places over the next three years.

George Osborne - Reuters

The overall £30bn is earmarked to fund 40 projects, including rail lines in Newcastle and between Manchester and Leeds, and the Metro system in Tyne and Wear, as well as improvements to the M25, M3 and M56.

But Mr Osborne‘s autumn budget statement is expected to show independent growth forecasts halved for next year to a little over 1 per cent.

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) is expected to slash its March growth forecasts, and predict higher borrowing for the next five years.