John Stevenson: What fiscal steps he is taking to support investment in infrastructure projects.
Chris Philp: A critical part of the Government’s growth plan is road, rail and energy infrastructure. We will be introducing legislation shortly to ensure that the delivery of that critical infrastructure is massively sped up.
John Stevenson: Growing the economy is about improving people’s lives as well as improving the success of places such as Carlisle. To achieve that, we need both public and private investment, and, in the case of public investment, it is infrastructure that will make the real difference. Given the rise in the cost of infrastructure projects, will the Minister confirm that where such projects have a shortfall in funding but are ready to go, the Government will step in and give additional funding to support them?
Chris Philp: It is very much our intention to speed up projects where they are ready to go. The growth plan announced a few weeks ago made clear our commitment to doing that. The last spending review provided, I think, about £100 billion of funding towards critical economic infrastructure. Where we can speed up projects, we will certainly be doing that. One project that we have in mind for exactly that is the A66 northern trans-Pennine route, which I believe goes not far from my hon. Friend’s constituency.