Key areas of public sector procurement will be affected by the spending pledges outlined in the Conservative manifesto, following the party’s victory at the 2015 General Election. Taking a close look at the party’s manifesto can give an insight into what to expect over the next five years of parliamentary business.
Transport is set to benefit from government funding, particularly in the north of England. The Conservative manifesto outlines plans to invest £13bn in transport for the North, electrifying the main rail routes in the region. Providing new trains for the north is seen as central to plans to build a Northern hub. The manifesto also pledges to make a £50bn commitment to High Speed 2, which will develop transport links between London and the North. Expect to see many contracts of all sizes, shapes and forms relating to these projects over the next five years.
New housing is also on the way, with the Conservatives pledging to build 200,000 new Starter Homes exclusively for first-time buyers under 40 in their election manifesto. The party also plans to build 1400 new flood defence schemes to protect 300,000 homes. The coming years should bring many construction and infrastructure contracts in these sectors.
In health, an increase in NHS spending is on the cards every year of the new parliament, with a priority being funding for dementia research. The NHS was a key battleground during the General Election campaign, and NHS procurement teams are set to be very busy in the years to come.
The Conservatives also pledged to invest at least £7bn over the next parliament to provide new school places, and to open at least 500 new free schools over the period. Significant numbers of contracts can be expected in education under the new Conservative Government.
The party’s manifesto contains a pledge to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). SMEs’ share of central government procurement spend is to be one-third under the Conservatives according to the manifesto, which supports the EU Regulations’ drive for greater SME engagement within public sector contracts. The recently adopted EU Procurement Directives aim to achieve greater flexibility, facilitating access to contracts for SMEs, which is something we can expect to see in contracts across the board under this Government and beyond.
These are just some of the more eye-catching spending pledges in the Conservatives’ manifesto, offering a taste of what may be expected over the next parliament. Public sector procurement is set to play a major role in delivering key services in the years to come.