Treasury chief Charles Roxburgh: “Brunel illustrates how great engineering, and infrastructure can deliver prosperity to all regions of the UK.”

Written by Charles Roxburgh on 1 January 2019 in Feature

With the end of 2018 fast approaching, we asked the UK's top civil servants to look back at the year, outline their goals for 2019 – and tell us who they’d choose to turn on their town’s Christmas lights. The links on this list will go live as the articles are published in the run up to 2019.

What was your highlight of 2018?

Professionally, I was very pleased that we were able to support the chancellor in announcing a major productivity package in this year’s Budget. In addition to all our work on Brexit, HMT continues to work on long-term policies to improve the structural performance of the UK economy. In this Budget, there were ambitious policies to deliver higher public and private investment to support the Industrial Strategy, with more investment in transport, R&D, housing, digital infrastructure and innovation, and with important new tax incentives to encourage private investment.

What was the hardest part of being a leader in 2018?

Managing the uncertainties created by Brexit.

What are the main challenges facing your department in the coming year?

Three main challenges. In the near term, working to ensure an exit from the European Union that achieves the government’s objectives. Second, delivering a successful Spending Review that secures high quality public services while continuing to deliver improved public finances. Third, working on policies to deliver long-term growth across the UK through higher productivity and a successful Industrial Strategy.

Which celebrity or historical figure would you choose to turn on the Christmas lights in your town, and why?

Isambard Kingdom Brunel. He built the great railway that runs near our town, serving the West and South West. His life illustrates how great engineering, innovation and infrastructure can deliver prosperity to all regions of the UK.

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Charles Roxburgh
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Charles Roxburgh is the Second Permanent Secretary at the Treasury

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