Rishi Sunak to pledge 'record-breaking' infrastructure spending in first Budget

Budget will also set out details of measures to tackle coronavirus outbreak

Photo: PA

By Kevin Schofield

11 Mar 2020

Rishi Sunak will pledge to "lay the foundations for a decade of growth" by unveiling plans to spend hundreds of billions of pounds on infrastructure in his first Budget.

The new chancellor will say the huge sum will deliver on the Conservative manifesto promise to "level up the UK" by building more houses, roads and railways, while also investing in broadband connections and research in every part of the country.

Treasury sources said it meant that by the end of this Parliament, public investment will be at its highest level in real terms since 1955.


Sunak, who was only handed the Treasury's top job a month ago after Sajid Javid's shock resignation, will also unveil a package of measures to help workers and businesses affected by the growing coronavirus crisis.

However, he is keen to ensure that his Budget is not completely overshadowed by the outbreak, which threatens to plunge the world into a global recession. This morning, the Bank of England announced a cu in interest rates from 0.75% to 0.25%.

The chancellor said: "This is a Budget for people right across the country – no region will be left behind.

"We have listened and will now deliver on our promise to level up the UK, ensuring everyone has the same chances and opportunities in life, wherever they live.

"By investing historic amounts in British innovation and world-class infrastructure, we will rebalance opportunities and lay the foundations for a decade of growth for everybody."

Sunak will also launch a review of the Treasury Green Book rules covering capital investment, which will conclude ahead of the summer's comprehensive spending review.

There will also be a £2.5bn pothole fund to fix 50holes over the next five years, and the likely continuation of the freeze on fuel duty that has been in place since 2011.

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