New Arup paper examines the HM Treasury Green Book in the context of the ‘levelling up’ agenda

Brad Ryan Former UKIMEA Press Officer,London
30 June 2020

The HM Treasury Green Book is crucial for the best practice appraisal and evaluation of UK Government expenditure, but for many areas, such as transport, skills, housing as well as some types of local and regional infrastructure, it would be better for decisions to be taken at a local level by locally elected politicians and their officers.

This is according to a new paper, ‘Levelling up’ and revising the Green Book: Where Next?' by Arup.

In December 2019, the new UK Government brought with it a promise to ‘level up’ the economy, drawing into focus the long standing tension between attempting to maximise economic growth at an aggregate national and regional level, versus responding to a broader set of objectives concerned with challenges such as inequality.

A focus of the debate has been the framework under which government departments make investment decisions – the HM Treasury Green Book, which sets out the rules for project appraisal, influencing which projects are granted public funding. There have been calls for fundamental changes to its methodology and in response, this paper seeks to explore potential improvements in how both the content and the use of the Green Book may help with the “levelling up” agenda.

Now more than ever, UK government will need to rely on high quality frameworks to help guide investment and aid the transition of the economy into recovery. We believe the Green Book is integral to assisting that process.

We should strive to improve how the Green Book is used and the quality of the guidance and advice that it provides. But that is a very different proposition to saying that it should be radically rewritten. ” Alexander Jan Alexander Jan Former chief economist

Download the paper here