Ahead of a Commons debate on the Infrastructure Bill, new research from Which? has revealed the multi-billion pound costs that consumers will have to meet over the next decade.
Based on data published by HM Treasury, Which? analysis shows that of the £327 billion infrastructure costs between now and 2021, consumers will ultimately pay around £214 billion of the bill. This estimate has increased by £69 billion in the last year alone and comes at a time when annual consumer spending on these services, including energy, transport and water, has already risen by nearly £15 billion over a decade.
Tomorrow, the House of Commons will debate an amendment to the Infrastructure Bill which would give the Government the power to task a new independent body with scrutinising infrastructure spending and publishing an analysis which would allow the Treasury to decide whether new investment is affordable for consumers.
Which? wants to see the creation of a new independent body, which could be called the Office for Regulatory Scrutiny, to estimate the impact of infrastructure spending on consumers’ bills and monitor whether infrastructure investment is providing value for money. We want this new body to look at whether consumers are getting a good deal in all essential markets and assess the impact that regulators are having.
Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, said:
“It’s shocking that consumers are being asked to pick up a jaw-dropping £214 billion tab for infrastructure investment without any real scrutiny of effectiveness or value for money.
“At a time when consumers are facing historically high costs for essentials, it’s vital that there is a tighter grip on the massive costs that are being passed on to consumers through their bills.”