Commenting on today’s announcement about the National Infrastructure Commission’s status, Mike Spicer, Director of Research and Economics at the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

“Business will welcome the additional clarity on the status of the National Infrastructure Commission, however, the decision not to enshrine its independence raises concerns.

“The fact that the NIC will report directly to HMT – rather than being independent from it – raises the question of whether it will have the latitude to propose bold, independent schemes that lead Budget announcements, particularly projects that are urgent business priorities, including investment in the country’s ageing road, rail and digital infrastructure.

“The ultimate purpose of the Commission is to develop and promote a long-term, stable vision of the UK’s infrastructure needs, which goes well beyond the period of this government or the next. It remains to be seen whether its status as an executive agency of the Treasury gives it the freedom to do the job it was created for.”