Public investment, what you need to know

25 April 2024
The Labour party may have scaled back its high-profile promise for £28 billion a year of green investment, but the parties’ plans for public investment are still likely to prominently feature in the election debate. More generally, public investment is a policy issue of central importance for public service delivery, economic growth, the UK’s climate ambitions, and much else besides.

Today, in a pre-election briefing funded by the Nuffield Foundation and the abrdn Financial Fairness Trust, IFS has published a new explainer covering the key questions around UK public investment – including how Conservative and Labour plans differ.

What is public investment? Why does it matter? How does investment fit into the fiscal rules? Does the debt target adopted by Labour and the Conservatives limit the government’s ability to borrow to invest? What do their plans imply? Should we adopt a broader definition of what counts as investment? And how does the UK compare internationally?

Read the explainer here