With tight constraints on public and private finances, Britain must adopt a more cost-effective approach to innovation to create an infrastructure ready to meet 21st-century challenges, writes Dan Lewis.
• Infrastructure has become a panacea of late, with low interest rates leading to calls for a broad programme of infrastructure spending, but the IoD believes it remains as easy as ever to squander money and the cost of finance cannot be an excuse to embark upon projects without clear objectives and cost controls.
• The UK has spent the last six years struggling to bring down the budget deficit; if the cost of infrastructure were better controlled, the chancellor’s problems would be eased.
• Many infrastructure projects are susceptible to the 80 per cent/20 per cent rule, where the vast majority of the benefits could be had for a fraction of the total costs. Given the state of the public finances, such an approach needs to be the default position of infrastructure spending.
• Frugal infrastructure is not so much about salami-slicing existing projects as to new ways of looking at projects’ desired goals and seeing how such goals can be achieved as cost effectively as possible. Pretend it was your money you were spending!
Read the report here