Calls for council pension funds to support infrastructure

Scottish Parliament has called for local authorities to maximise the opportunities presented through pension funds to improve local infrastructure.

In a report, entitled ‘Report on Pension Fund Investment in Infrastructure and City Deal Spend’, the Scottish Parliament’s Local Government and Regeneration Committee says that there is untapped potential in pension funds to support communities.

It suggests that local government pension funds should be used to invest more in local projects such as affordable housing, but that a lack of exercise in infrastructure investment was limiting the opportunities to invest for positive economic impacts.

Kevin Stewart, Committee convener, said: “It has been proven time and again that investment in infrastructure is needed to grow a successful economy. All communities across Scotland must have the chance to benefit from this success and the opportunity to grow.

“Whilst there are some risks associated with investing in infrastructure, these can be reconciled given the long-term nature of these investments together with their positive social and economic impact. By working collaboratively Pension Funds could maximise their returns, share expertise and reduce investment costs. The returns should also be measured in terms of growth to communities.”