HM Treasury

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06 September 2012

Government publishes legislation to help accelerate major infrastructure investment and house building

The Government has today published legislation which will enable the Government to guarantee up to £40 billion of investment in infrastructure, and up to £10 billion in new homes. The Infrastructure (Financial Assistance) Bill gives statutory backing to the UK Guarantees programme announced in July and the housing guarantee schemes announced today.

The UK Guarantees scheme has been established to ensure that where major infrastructure projects may struggle to access private finance because of adverse credit conditions they can proceed as planned.

The Government will also use its hard earned fiscal credibility to support the long-term delivery of new rental homes. The Government intends to issue debt guarantees to support the building of new private rented sector and affordable homes.

The Government is expediting the legislation in order to ensure that it can take forward detailed discussions with eligible commercial parties as soon as possible and subsequently provide suitable forms of guarantee.

The scope of the Bill covers the transport, energy, communications and environmental sectors set out in the National Infrastructure Plan as well as the wider housing sector.

Notes for editors

1. The Government launched the UK Guarantees scheme on 18 July 2012 to dramatically accelerate major infrastructure investment and provide major support to UK exporters.

2. The Infrastructure Bill (Parliament website, opens in new browser window) authorises HM Treasury or a Secretary of State (with HM Treasury’s consent) to incur expenditure in relation to the provision of guarantees and other suitable forms of financial assistance.  Statutory authority for such expenditure is required in accordance with the Concordat of 1932 between the Government and the Public Accounts Committee.

3. The UK guarantee scheme forms part of the work to make full use of the Government’s balance sheet, which the Prime Minister announced during his speech to the Institute of Directors in Manchester on 17 May 2012. Further details available on the Number 10 website (opens in new browser window).

Other related schemes that form part of this work include:

The National Infrastructure Plan 2011 set out a comprehensive strategy for meeting the infrastructure needs of the UK economy, including setting out a clear pipeline of 500 infrastructure projects. Up to £40bn worth of projects identified in the pipeline will be eligible to apply.

4. Further information on the housing guarantees can be found on the Communities and Local Government website (opens in new browser window).

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