The Chancellor of the Exchequer delivered his 2011 Autumn Statement to Parliament at 12:30pm on 29 November 2011.
A wide-ranging package of more than 140 reforms was announced to build a stronger and more balanced economy.
These measures include:
National Infrastructure Plan
The Government updates its National Infrastructure Plan with major commitments to improve the UK’s transport and broadband networks as well as steps to attract major new private sector investment.
The key measures in the National Infrastructure Plan include:
- Introducing a new approach to financing infrastructure, by leveraging £20 billion of private investment from pension funds.
- Giving local authorities more flexibility to support major infrastructure by considering local borrowing to fund the Northern Line extension to Battersea, and exploring new sources of revenue, such as options for tolling on the A14.
- Investing over £1 billion to tackle areas of congestion and improve the national road network, including £270 million for two new managed motorway schemes at congested times on the M3 and M6.
- Investing more than £1.4 billion in railway infrastructure and commuter links, including £270 million for a rail link between Oxford and Bedford and £390 million on enhancement and renewal works to improve stations and infrastructure.
- Investing £100 million to create up to ten ‘super-connected cities’ across the UK, with 80-100 megabits per second broadband and city-wide high-speed mobile coverage.
- The Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, will chair a new cabinet committee on infrastructure, to push through the delivery of the top 40 priority projects and programmes that are critical for growth.
The second phase of the Government’s Growth Review has been led jointly by HM Treasury and BIS. As well as infrastructure it focuses on, logistics, education and skills, mid-sized businesses, the rural economy, procurement and open data.
- Creating a £20 billion National Loan Guarantee Scheme, to lower the cost of loans to small businesses, and a £1 billion Business Finance Partnership, which will lend to mid-sized businesses and small and medium sized businesses in the UK through non-bank channels.
- Increasing the Regional Growth Fund by £1 billion to provide ongoing support to grow the private sector in areas currently dependent on the public sector.
- An extra £600 million to fund 100 additional Free Schools, and an additional £600 million to deliver an additional 40,000 school places.
- Introducing a new build mortgage indemnity scheme which will help up to 100,000 families to buy their own home, and launching a new £400 million Get Britain Building investment fund to progress stalled developments.
- Providing £45 million of support to UK firms wishing to export, doubling from 25,000 to 50,000 the number of SMEs supported, and making similar support available to 500 mid-sized businesses.
- Making 100 per cent capital allowances available in six Enterprise Zones (Black Country, Humber, Liverpool, North Eastern, Sheffield, and Tees Valley).
- Making available around £250 million from 2013 to support energy intensive industries manage the costs of electricity, including increasing the relief from the climate change levy on electricity for Climate Change Agreement participants to 90 per cent.
- An additional £200 million for science capital investment.
- Investing £55m into the Strategic Rail Freight Network to help deliver schemes that remove bottlenecks and improve capability and longer term connectivity to the UK’s major ports.
- Giving a bigger role to businesses in purchasing vocational training programmes. In the New Year employers will be invited to bid for a share of a new £250 million government fund. This will route public investment directly to employers.
- Taking decisive action to remove barriers to hiring by making reforms to streamline employment law.
- Investing £10 million over five years from 2013-14 in Project Enthuse, matched by investment from the Wellcome Trust, to improve the quality of science teaching in schools.
- Announcing how the Government will maximise the value of public sector data.
Growing Mid-Sized Businesses
A package of measures has also been announced that will help to unlock the growth potential of mid-sized businesses (MSBs).
Business Secretary Vince Cable said:
“These measures are an important element of the Government’s work to create the right conditions for business to start up, invest, grow and create jobs. They sit alongside our deficit reduction plan and work to increase the supply of credit.
“I attach particular importance to infrastructure and government capital spending, including that on innovation and science, and the credit easing initiative. Speedy and effective implementation is now required, building on the major progress that has been made implementing phase one.”