Public recognition

A recent announcement from HM Treasury revealed that, from now on, key publicly funded infrastructure projects would be branded with a Union Jack plaque “to recognise taxpayers’ key contribution in funding vital projects”.

Announcing the initiative, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, and Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, said that projects would be branded across “the length and breadth of the UK” and could include the likes of roads, flood defences and broadband cabinets.

“As part of our long term economic plan, this government is investing in our nation’s physical and digital infrastructure,” said Maude in a statement. “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.”

The announcement could be very good news for plaque manufacturers: after all, the statement pointed to some £466 billion (€641 billion; $693 billion) worth of projects arising from the country’s National Infrastructure Plan. One wonders whether there will be enough plaques to go round?

For private investors, the scheme may leave them pondering whether they will receive equal recognition as part-funders of UK infrastructure? We don’t know for sure, but we have checked the announcement fairly carefully and found no obvious reference to the private sector therein.