Mayor calls for single local authority fund for infrastructure investing

December, 2014 Print

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London mayor, Boris Johnson, said public sector pension funds should be merged in order to create a single fund to invest in infrastructure in London and the rest of the UK.

Speaking on a BBC radio show in November, Johnson said it was ludicrous that there are 39,000 public sector pension funds in total and said Britain should do as other countries have and create what he described as “a gigantic infrastructure fund”. He added: “If you pool the cash in the local authority pension funds in Britain, you would have one fund worth £180 billion.”

Johnson was interviewed on Pienaar’s Politics, Radio Five Live on November 30th, and was asked if the government should delay balancing the budget in order to increase spending on infrastructure. In response, Johnson said sovereign wealth funds from around the world would help finance infrastructure projects. He went on to say that the Northern Line extension would be partly financed by tax revenues generated by the development. He added: “In a nutshell, I think you can have your cake and eat it. You can step up infrastructure investment and you can finance this very readily from the revenue streams they produce, if you put tolls on bridges and tunnels.” He then added that public sector pension funds, including the Local Government Pension Scheme, should be merged and used for infrastructure investment.

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