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Government to launch multi-billion pound house building programme

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The government is working on plans for a £50 billion homes and road-building programme to boost growth and create jobs

The project will use private sector money to deliver new power stations, social housing, toll roads and super-fast broadband, reported The Sunday Times.

Further details of the plan – which seeks to capitalise on large sums of pension fund and insurance company money – will be revealed in chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement on 29 November.

The investment will come on top of 40 already announced infrastructure projects, it was claimed. It is understood officials at the Treasury and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills are fleshing out the growth plan.

The attempt to spur the economy on emerged amid fears the UK is headed for a double-dip recession and came as the Bank of England prepared to lower growth forecasts.

Business secretary Vince Cable told the newspaper: ‘We know there’s a large amount of institutional investment in pension funds and insurance companies looking for a safe return.

‘What we have to do is create a framework of stable regulation so that private investors will have the confidence to invest in big projects and help get the British economy moving again.’

Last week Atkins joined business leaders to call on the government to commit to increasing investment in infrastructure.

Atkins’ managing director of UK business David Tonkin said: ‘There can be no argument that targeted spending on critical infrastructure projects has a direct impact on the economy, whether it’s through the protection and improvement of vital assets, the improvement of transportation links or the direct provision of jobs.

‘While we must be aware that there will be increased scrutiny of business cases, it is well-proven that investing in key infrastructure can not only support recovery but also drive it.’

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