The National Federation of Builders (NFB) has welcomed the election of a new Prime Minister, bringing stability and fresh impetus to the Government, and is calling on Liz Truss and her Ministers to focus on ensuring a healthy pipeline of work, a reduction in construction-business taxes and to tackle the desperate need for planning reform head-on.
Recent ONS and PMI data shows that construction output and activity have dropped over the summer, with falls in new work and in the repair, maintenance and improvement sector, plus the biggest reductions seen in private sector housing and commercial, indicating an uncertain economic outlook.
Commenting, James M. Butcher, NFB Director of Policy said: “The election of a new Prime Minister means that the proactive work of Government can restart, having had a period of stasis over the summer. Inflation has caused our industry no end of problems but the biggest threat is the rolling-back of demand as clients of all shapes and sizes consider putting off work. Liz Truss said during her election campaign that ‘a recession is not inevitable’ so we hope she will take the opportunity to ensure we have a healthy pipeline for our industry, and across all work types. We want to see continued investment in major infrastructure, public sector capital projects, housing and implementation of a national retrofit strategy to support builders in the domestic sector as well as our Net Zero ambitions.”
Rico Wojtulewicz, NFB Head of Housing and Planning Policy added: “Liz Truss has promised to be a low-tax Conservative, and we cannot wait a day longer to see the fruits of that promise. The last Government put up national insurance contributions, removed the sector’s entitlement to use red diesel and has added a myriad of levies to housebuilders. It’s high time to roll-back the burden on business and give the industry the room to invest in the future.
The biggest blocker to our nation’s construction potential, not least to meet our housing need, is the horrendous state of our planning laws. As the former Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick stated over the weekend, the planning reforms the last Government decided not to proceed with were its ‘greatest missed opportunity’. He could not be more right. We must have a revolution in planning laws and that will require radical and bold leadership.”
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