Charade of a commission
According to HM Treasury, the provision of new infrastructure in the UK “has historically relied heavily on an often fragile and incomplete political and public consensus”. So, in 2015, the government set up a National Infrastructure Commission to provide “expert, independent advice on pressing infrastructure issues”.
The government has been consulting on the “key design specifications” of the Commission. The period of consultation ends today (17 March).
[National Infrastructure Commission: consultation]
“The provision of new infrastructure in the UK has historically relied heavily on an often fragile and incomplete political and public consensus. This has led to changes of direction and a lack of certainty. In the past, individual infrastructure proposals were discussed and assessed at length.
In its present form, the National Infrastructure Commission cannot be a facilitator of independent investigation or rigorous examination of infrastructure projects.
Its members are appointed by the chancellor of the exchequer, and all discussions are in private. The evidence to date suggests it is little more than a rubber stamp for George Osborne.
The Commission has just finished “independently” reviewing the case for Crossrail 2 and, lo and behold, found it would be a jolly good idea to build it as soon as possible. But the ‘interim chair’ of the Commission, Andrew Adonis, was previously chair of London First‘s task force to champion Crossrail 2.
London First claimed the ‘indicative cost’ of Crossrail 2 was £12 billion, and value for money.