Infrastructure boost

Budget to include ‘record’ investment in roads and rail

European train rail network, ASI, Rock Rail

More money is pledged for infrastructure

Chancellor Rishi Sunak will use his first Budget to pledge a record £600 billion spending spree on improving the UK’s critical infrastructure.

He will unveil investment in broadband, housing, research, roads and railways to “lay the foundations for a decade of growth”.

The Budget statement will build on promises made by Boris Johnson to ‘level up’ the whole of the UK. The Treasury has said it would lead to the highest levels of investment in real terms since 1955.

However, the infrastructure promises are likely to be overshadowed by measures the government will take to tackle the coronavirus crisis.

Mr Sunak is believed to be preparing to pump billions of pounds into the NHS and offer help to businesses which fear they could be forced to close if the situation worsens.

Rishi Sunak

Rishi Sunak: a budget for all regions

There could be a cut to interest rates and a series of tax reliefs and ‘holidays’ to help firms get through the slowdown in trade.

Mr Sunak said: “This is a Budget for people right across the country – no region will be left behind.

“We have listened and will now deliver on our promise to level up the UK, ensuring everyone has the same chances and opportunities in life, wherever they live.

“By investing historic amounts in British innovation and world-class infrastructure, we will rebalance opportunities and lay the foundations for a decade of growth for everybody.”

He may end the freeze on fuel duty but there are expectations he will push ahead with cuts to national insurance.

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