Statement from ACCA about UK infrastructure investment and HS2

Responding to the UK government’s announcement today (11 February 2020), Alex Metcalfe, head of public sector policy at ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) offers comments.

‘We support the government’s commitment to increased infrastructure investment in the UK – though these new investments must adhere to the new fiscal rules set out in the 2019 Conservative manifesto.

‘Originally priced at £33bn, HS2 could now cost UK taxpayers over £100bn. This overrun will require tradeoffs against other national infrastructure priorities – such as a national standard of flood resilience or the rollout of full-fibre broadband.

‘Therefore, it is vital that the Government’s infrastructure strategy takes account of the wider needs of the country, as set out by the National Infrastructure Commission.

‘ACCA’s report How accountants can bridge the global infrastructure gap, which was supported by a survey of 3,611 ACCA members across 118 countries, sets out 20 recommendations based on international good practice. This includes a recommendation that any private finance opportunities must not fall off-balance sheet and should be appropriately recorded against the government’s new fiscal rules.

‘We await the upcoming multi-year spending review, which will set capital and resource budgets beyond 2020-21. This review must provide a vision of how the UK’s future infrastructure investment will be fair, efficient and affordable.’

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About ACCA

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants, offering business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management.

ACCA supports its 219,000 members and 527,000 students (including affiliates) in 179 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. ACCA works through a network of 110 offices and centres and 7,571 Approved Employers worldwide, and 328 approved learning providers who provide high standards of learning and development.

Through its public interest remit, ACCA promotes appropriate regulation of accounting and conducts relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence.

ACCA has introduced major innovations to its flagship qualification to ensure its members and future members continue to be the most valued, up to date and sought-after accountancy professionals globally.

Founded in 1904, ACCA has consistently held unique core values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability. More information is here: www.accaglobal.com

 

"We support the government’s commitment to increased infrastructure investment in the UK – though these new investments must adhere to the new fiscal rules set out in the 2019 Conservative manifesto. ... it is vital that the Government’s infrastructure strategy takes account of the wider needs of the country, as set out by the National Infrastructure Commission. "

Alex Metcalfe, head of public sector policy - ACCA