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Chancellor to pledge £100bn to projects as National Infrastructure Commission revealed

George Osborne has revealed the eight members of the new National Infrastructure Commission, including one of the key figures behind Labour’s proposals for a similar body.

The commission, which will be led by former Labour transport secretary Lord Adonis, will produce a list of priority infrastructure projects at the start of each five-year parliament.

Mr Osborne will say today that he wants the commission “to shake Britain out of its inertia on infrastructure”.

Alongside Lord Adonis on the commission will be Sir John Armitt, the former Olympic Delivery Authority chair who was commissioned by then shadow chancellor Ed Balls to lead a review into the UK’s infrastructure delivery in 2013.

His recommendations included the establishment of a politically independent commission to look up to 30 years ahead and set infrastructure priorities accordingly.

The government announced the launch of the NIC at the Conservative Party conference earlier this month, when the chancellor said he wanted to “create a cross-party consensus” on infrastructure.

The commission will also include former deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine and High Speed 2 design panel chair Sadie Morgan.

The other members, set to be unveiled at the commission’s launch in York this morning, are: former member of the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee Tim Besley; neuroscientist Demis Hassabis; former chief economist at the Greater London Authority Bridget Rosewall; and Victoria & Albert Museum chairman Sir Paul Ruddock.

Mr Osborne has used the launch to pledge £100bn of infrastructure spending by 2020; this includes funding the £15bn Roads Investment Strategy.

More details of the projects that will receive government backing will be announced at next month’s spending review, with funding to come from money raised by asset sales.

Initially, the commission will focus on northern connectivity; improving the London transport system, including developing Crossrail 2; and helping balance the energy market.

Mr Osborne said: “My spending review will be about delivering security.

“British people have to spend longer than they should getting to work, pay more than they should in energy bills and can’t buy the houses they want because of the failure of successive governments to think long term.

“Infrastructure isn’t some obscure concept; it’s about people’s lives, economic security and the sort of country we want to live in.

“That’s why I am determined to shake Britain out of its inertia on infrastructure and end the situation where we trail our rivals when it comes to building everything from the housing to the power stations that our children will need.

“This is about jobs, growth, living standards and ensuring Britain is fit for the future. We must be the builders.

“At the spending review, I will commit to investing £100bn in infrastructure over the next five years and we are creating an independent commission to give us a long-term, unbiased analysis of the country’s major infrastructure needs.

“We need to think long term and deliver a cross-party consensus on what we need to build.

“I am delighted Andrew Adonis and this world-class group of experts have agreed to come together on the National Infrastructure Commission to help us do that.”

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