Chancellor Rishi Sunak to finally unveil delayed infrastructure strategy

Video report by ITV News Political Correspondent Daniel Hewitt

Rishi Sunak is finally set to unveil his much-delayed National Infrastructure Strategy for £100 billion of long-term investment next week.

The Chancellor will, on Wednesday, publish the strategy aimed at helping to tackle the climate crisis and investing in transport. He will also outline his spending review.

But it comes as Mr Sunak and the government face the threat of industrial action after reports emerged the Chancellor plans to impose a pay cap on 5 million public sector workers.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak alongside the Prime Minister in the Commons. Credit: Parliament

Initially set for publication in March, the infrastructure strategy looks at boosting transport connectivity and working towards achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

Mr Sunak said he would unveil it on Wednesday alongside tens of billions of pounds of infrastructure investment - including £1.6 billion to tackle potholes - in his spending review.

The Treasury said the infrastructure strategy would contain a down payment on flagship programmes including fibre broadband, flood defences and transport schemes.

Mr Sunak said: "We are absolutely committed to levelling-up opportunities so those living in all corners of the UK get their fair share of our future prosperity.

Rishi Sunak will present the Economic Update to Parliament on Wednesday Credit: Simon Walker/HM Treasury

"All nations and regions of the UK have benefited from our unprecedented £200 billion Covid support package.

The Chancellor said "after a difficult year for this country" the spending review would help to "build back better".

Mr Sunak pledged to invest more than £600 billion across the UK during the next five years.

The location for the Treasury’s northern headquarters as part of a drive to get more civil servants working outside of London will be announced “in the coming weeks”, a press notice added.

Coronavirus rates in the North of England are much higher than the rest of the UK. Credit: PA

Jake Berry, who is leading a group of Tory MPs representing the North of England, welcomed the Chancellor’s announcement for putting “‘levelling-up’ at the heart of this government’s agenda”.

But the government is facing the threat of industrial action if it imposes a pay cap on millions of public sector workers.

Unions reacted angrily to reports the Chancellor would announce a pay limit at the spending review, though frontline NHS doctors and nurses are expected to be exempt.

Labour’s shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds said: “Communities up and down the country don’t want to hear more empty rhetoric from this Government.

“The Conservatives have been in power for 10 long years, but their track record is a litany of failure and broken promises.”

Listen to the ITV News politics podcast: