“The Chancellor began today’s budget with talk of embracing the future, but it was reassurance of what’s just around the corner that set the tone for his speech. With Brexit looming and growth forecasts down it’s clear to see that the Chancellor is keen to reassure the industry and businesses like AECOM that the Government will provide stability through this uncertain period. However, saying you understand business’ concerns and actually allaying those concerns are two different things and while we welcome much of today’s budget it still leaves a lot of questions unanswered.”
“We’re extremely pleased to hear that the Chancellor endorsed the delivery model that AECOM developed for the National Infrastructure Commission within the Oxford Cambridge corridor, and that he backed the NIC’s vision for one million new homes across the corridor by 2050. We now look forward to further detail from the Treasury and the Department for Communities and Local Government on the opportunities available for the private sector to work in partnership with government to deliver these homes and the supporting infrastructure they will need.”
“Whilst briefly mentioning Crossrail 2, it’s disappointing that the Chancellor did not take the opportunity to continue to confirm the Government’s commitment to this much needed infrastructure project, nor did he provide any new news on the expansion of Heathrow Airport. There was also a distinct lack of dialogue on Defence and the Energy sector, where clarity on energy pricing and Hinckley Point C, in particular would have no doubt been welcomed by industry.”
“We are sure the industry will also be reassured to hear that the Chancellor recognises the skills gap that we are facing and AECOM welcomes the announcement of investment in education; both for STEM subjects at our schools and support for our existing workforce through distance learning – which will of course have long term productivity benefits.”
“It was also notable that the Northern Powerhouse was back on the agenda having seemed slightly overlooked in previous government announcements, and it was good to hear the Government’s commitment to connect HS2 to other existing networks. But the Chancellor failed to provide further reassurance on the commitment to unlock the Northern Power House’s full potential including action to actually address connection speeds across the Pennines and rich energy opportunities in more remote communities like Cumbria.”
“As for the future that Mr Hammond spoke of… his commitment to invest in the infrastructure to support electric vehicles and the £1.7 Billion pledge to transform our cities are both a step in the right direction but perhaps he’s left the industry craving the detail it needs if we are to be fully reassured.”
John Hicks, Director and Head of Government & Public, AECOM
AECOM is built to deliver a better world. We design, build, finance and operate infrastructure assets for governments, businesses and organizations in more than 150 countries. As a fully integrated firm, we connect knowledge and experience across our global network of experts to help clients solve their most complex challenges. From high-performance buildings and infrastructure, to resilient communities and environments, to stable and secure nations, our work is transformative, differentiated and vital. A Fortune 500 firm, AECOM had revenue of approximately $18.2 billion during fiscal year 2017. See how we deliver what others can only imagine at aecom.com and @AECOM.