Water in the manifestos: infrastructure and skills
The backbone of the Conservative policy on infrastructure was published a few months ago in the government’s Industrial Strategy. The manifesto pointed to a £23bn National Productivity Investment Fund, targeted at “areas that are critical for productivity: housing, research and development, economic infrastructure and skills. This will include £740 million of digital infrastructure investment, the largest investment in railways since Victorian times, £1.1 billion to improve local transport and £250 million in skills by the end of 2020. The National Productivity Investment Fund will take total spending on housing, economic infrastructure and R&D to £170 billion during the next parliament.”
Labour pledged to “take advantage of near- record low interest rates to create a National Transformation Fund that will invest £250 billion over ten years in upgrading our economy.” Its focus areas were broadband, energy and transport (HS2 and Crossrail especially). It added its plans for a National Education Service for England would address skills issues.