Investment projects in infrastructure or research, which can be carried out by employees of the State or by chosen suppliers, differ from ongoing services in two important ways:

  • They come to an end when the project is delivered.
  • Some projects, e.g. to provide infrastructure, may yield wider economic benefits later.

From the point of view of affordability, investment projects should be considered to be in a different category from ongoing government spend.  Decisions to invest should evaluate the long-term benefits to the economy, although some might also be pursued on political grounds: to improve people’s quality of life.

Government action is supplementary to private initiatives in meeting the total requirement for investment, as described later (3.2.8).



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