Britain Must Build Its Way Out Of Recession
Thursday, 31 January, 2013
While the UK economy as a whole shrank by 0.3 percent, there was a small increase in construction output. This follows a fall of 2.5 percent between Q2 and Q3 of 2012, which as a whole was a bleak one for construction.
Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said:
“It is clear from the Deputy Prime Minister’s recent comments that Government now realises the wider economic benefits that capital investment via construction can bring, however it must do more to unleash the potential in our industry by pulling the right levers.”
“Our members are ready to help Britain build its way back to growth, in the process helping meet the spiraling housing crisis and improving energy efficiency in homes and businesses. But we can’t do this alone. Government must meet construction firms halfway, and find imaginative new ways of increasing activity in the sector, particularly for small, local builders who may not immediately benefit from major infrastructure investment.”
“For example, the Treasury could incentivise domestic energy-efficiency improvements with a reduction in VAT on such work to 5 per cent – home owners would then be more likely to improve insulation, fit high-performance glazing and more efficient boilers.”
“Ministers and local authorities must also urgently look at bringing new housing online, by freeing up additional land for development and refurbishing empty or derelict stock. Easing planning red tape and pushing investment through the new Business Bank will help smaller construction companies begin to start providing the 250,000 new homes Britain needs every year to just to keep pace with demand.”
This week the FMB’s latest State of Trade Survey results indicated that many firms feared they may have to introduce price rises as overheads continue to eat into profit margins, and around 30 per cent of those surveyed said it was likely they may have to lay-off workers in 2013.