Union Jack plaques to brand public funded infrastructure

Publicly-funded infrastructure projects are to be branded with a Union Jack plaque to recognise taxpayers' key contribution in funding vital projects.

Roads, flood defences and broadband cabinets will all carry the plaque, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander is due to say today during a visit to the south west.

There are £466bn of planned projects in the pipeline, around a third funded by public  money. Of the £327bn investment in the National Infrastructure Plan to 2021, Government is funding 20.6% directly and contributing towards another 13.8% via public/private deals. It wants that significant contribution recognised particularly in terms of providing a “crucial motor” in restarting economic growth.

Last week, the Secretary General of the OECD praised the UK’s investment in infrastructure and called on the government to “continue to build on the progress made with the National Infrastructure Plan” to ensure that the UK’s “textbook” recovery continues.

Having established the National Infrastructure Plan in 2010, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said: “I’ve prioritised infrastructure in this government because only long-term investments will support UK businesses and get the public finances and economy on a firm footing.

“It is only right that we recognise the contribution of the UK taxpayer in supporting this economic growth, which is why I’m delighted to launch these Union Jack plaques, which will proudly adorn infrastructure investments from roads in Cornwall to broadband in Caithness.”

Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude who jointly developed the flag concept with Alexander said: “As part of our long term economic plan, this government is investing in our nation’s physical and digital infrastructure. Whether it’s High Speed 2 investment in the Northern Powerhouse or superfast broadband connecting Cornwall and Wales, all future infrastructure projects funded for by UK taxpayers will carry this simple UK flag branding.” 

Alexander is speaking at this week's ACE National Conference on Wednesday and will doubtless explain more about how the branding will work.

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Rather bizarre initiative. Is it meant to impress the natives?