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Private finance vital for infrastructure, says CPA

The Construction Products Association has emphasised the essential role that private finance must play in providing future infrastructure and other public sector assets, especially given the constraints on public sector spending over the coming years.

The CPA has made a submission to the Treasury’s review on the PFI (Public Finance Initiative) scheme. Chief executive Michael Ankers, says: “It is essential to find innovative ways of tapping into private sector finance through, for example, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds and road toll charges, so as to help deliver the economic infrastructure that is essential to underpin the growth that we need to turn the economy round.”

The Association also emphasised that the key criteria for determining the use of private finance must be value for money for the tax payer over the lifetime of an asset and stressed that this must include the economic and other benefits of bringing forward the construction of the asset, which without private finance would not be built for some time.

Other points in the Association’s submission include:

  • The need for greater use of private finance in the future provision of social housing

  • A greater focus on output based specifications which will encourage incentives for manufacturing partners linked to the outputs of the contract

  • The importance of early involvement of key manufacturers and suppliers in projects so that full advantage is taken of the opportunity to deliver innovative products and solutions that will deliver value throughout the life of the project

  • The need to assemble much more information about the performance of assets in use and the costs of maintaining them. This will help set benchmarks that can be used in evaluating future project proposals

  • About Fiona Russell-Horne

    Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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