“It’s a really good admirable aim, but to a certain extent I think what he’s subtly doing is raising the bar for project viability,” Hicks said. Britain’s business minister Greg Clark told Reuters the investment plan was focused on the long term and he would be providing details of its next steps soon when he published the new government’s industrial strategy. “This is very much with a view on the medium and long term horizon rather than a countervailing response to Brexit. their websiteIt’s not that kind of short-term stimulus,” he said. But Yael Selfin, head of UK macroeconomics at financial services firm KPMG, said the government had put more of a focus on areas which would help the private sector including road improvements which would probably be quick to carry out. More investment in infrastructure that encourages private house-building could help to ease a lack of homes on the market which has discouraged workers from moving around the country, another drag on productivity growth, she said. “It feels more focused in terms of purpose this time round,” she said of Hammond’s announcement. webpageHowever, Selfin and Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, a think tank, both said Hammond had not addressed one of the big factors behind Britain’s productivity problem – a lack of skilled workers. “We spend less on research and development than most of our competitor economies, so that does hold us back,” Johnson said.
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