Here’s our quick summary of the main points from today’s Budget 2013 announcement, focusing on those of relevance to transport and the PTEs.
- Reduction in Resource Departmental Expenditure Limits equivalent to a 1% reduction for most departments. Schools and health budgets remain protected. Individual departmental budgets will be published in the 2015/16 Spending Round.
- Departments saved £5.5bn in 2011/12 and are expected to deliver comparable additional efficiency savings each year.
- Local Government allocations that have been set out for 2013/14 will not be changed.
- Extending restraint on public sector pay by a year by limiting increases to an average of up to 1% in 2015-16. The Government will seek further significant savings through reforms to progression pay at the 2015/16 Spending Round.
- The Government will establish a new multi-agency network to drive the transformation of local public services. The network will spread innovation from the Whole Place Community Budget pilots and What Works Centres to support other places to provide advice and support on co-designing local public service transformation. Plans to extend the benefits of the Whole Place approach will be announced at the 2015/16 Spending Round.
- Confirms that the overwhelming majority of the Hestletine Review’s recommendations have been accepted, including creation of a competitive Single Local Growth Fund, devolved to local level through new Local Growth Deals. Funding will be allocated to LEPs on the basis of strategic multi-year plans for local growth. They will be challenged to leverage private and local funding and commit to governance reform – those who offer the most will be more likely to benefit in terms of increased funding and flexibilities. The fund will be operational by April 2015 and further details will be set out at the 2015/16 Spending Round.
Transport and Infrastructure
- Using savings from Departments outlined above, the Government will increase capital spending plans by £3bn a year to improve UK infrastructure. The Government will set out how this will be allocated at the 2015/16 Spending Round. This will take a long-term approach, including setting planning assumptions out to 2020/21.
- Planned September 2013 fuel duty increase cancelled.
- Tax incentives to support the manufacture of ultra-low emission vehicles.
- Double to £10,000 the size of loans that employers can offer tax free to pay for items such as season tickets for commuters.
- Implement a series of reforms to effect a step change in Government’s approach to infrastructure delivery, supported by Infrastructure UK and new Infrastructure Capacity Plans. Government will also consider options for making more use of independent expertise in shaping its infrastructure strategy.
- Publish significantly reduced planning guidance by this summer.
- Will be asking local areas to put in place bespoke pro-growth planning policies and delivery arrangements as part of new Local Growth Deals and through City Deals.
Look out for…
- More details on many of these measures to be contained in the 2015/16 Spending Round, to be announced on 26 June 2013.