Underneath the headlines in the Autumn Statement, there are some things conspicuously absent. There’s no mention of Rail Reform and no mention of the Integrated Rail Plan. Yesterday’s political answers aren’t going to help with today’s problems.
Local public transport
The Autumn Statement is disappointingly quiet on the increasing challenge of providing local public transport services, with apparently no mention of the bus, rail and rapid transit networks which provide vital and low-carbon connectivity to isolated communities and within our urban areas.
Will net zero benefit from a new wave of investment by life insurers? How will the new Electricity Generator Levy impact renewable investment? What lessons can be learned from history about the establishment of the government's new Energy Efficiency Taskforce?
The autumn financial statement provided little encouragement for the decarbonisation of transport, with confirmation that electric vehicles (EVs) will soon be liable for vehicle excise duty (commonly known as road tax).
The Chancellor’s Autumn 2022 Statement was predominantly quiet about the UK’s aviation sector. If anything, the Statement was notable more for the things that it did not say.
The North of England
Given the increasingly constrained economic environment we find ourselves in, there was a high degree of nervousness in the North of England about what the Autumn Statement might bring in relation to previous investment commitments.
There’s a collective sigh of relief across the Midlands. This budget statement was always about what was at risk rather than any thought of new investment that might come to the region. Nothing which has previously been promised was taken away.
The South of England
The Autumn Statement confirmed that we would have to get used to less capital funding available to build new things and renew what we have. We must, instead, make best use of existing roads, railways, and other transport infrastructure.
The Autumn Statement is more of a 'one nation' budget than its predecessor, recognising the necessity to use fiscal policy to both support growth and protect the more vulnerable in our community.