Budget: missed opportunity for construction

Aaron Morby 11 years ago

Construction leaders said the Chancellor has failed to deliver a desperately needed short-term boost to work as the industry faces a 5% fall in output.

The Chancellor’s measures to ease the burden on business and reduce taxation were welcomed.

But there is growing concern that the Government has failed to appreciate the serious immediate problems contractors face from dwindling orders.

Public spending cuts will be deeper this year and industry leaders say the Budget’s limited extra road and rail spending measures fall a long way short of what is needed.

CPA chief executive Michael Ankers, said: ‘The government clearly recognises the constraints on our economic growth imposed by the poor quality of our infrastructure and a planning system that is not fit for purpose.

“But we are still some way from seeing any benefit from the steps being taken to bring private finance into future road building and we await the details of the revolutionary planning reforms that the Chancellor referred to.

“Construction is facing a very difficult 12 to 18 months and these will not do much to change this.”

He added: “What we would have liked to see is some of the additional savings made on current spending reinvested in capital projects.”

Dan Labbad, chief executive of Lend Lease in Britain, said: “The Government clearly understands that investing in major infrastructure projects creates more jobs and more growth.”

“The priority now should be to bring more of the schemes in the National Infrastructure Plan forward as quickly as possible.

“Progress on delivering the pipeline is still too slow and there is not enough visibility on what schemes will be going out to tender and when.”

“It is also essential that a successor to PFI is formulated quickly.”

Institution of Civil Engineers director general Nick Baveystock, welcomed progress developing new funding models such as Tax Increment Financing and the pilot for a new Earn Back Model.

He said:”But Government should do more to improve the credibility of its aspirations by publishing an assessment of the level of funding it believes it can realistically secure from all categories of investors and a clear programme of work that will unlock these funds.

“This would boost investor confidence and encourage further investment.”

Julia Evans, chief executive of the National Federation of Builders, echoed concerns that the Government was losing interest in the green agenda.

She said: “It is particularly disappointing that an opportunity was missed to harmonise VAT rates on the domestic energy efficiency installation, ahead of the Green Deal launch later this year.”

The Federation welcomed the new £20bn National Loan Guarantee Scheme fund but questioned whether it will simply enable SMEs already at the front of the queue to get cheaper loans, or whether it will also support otherwise perfectly viable SMEs in sectors like construction, deemed toxic by the banks.

She said: “Lending to the construction sector remains depressed and construction SMEs find themselves at the back even of the SME queue. We hope that the scheme succeeds in its aims, but see no indication that it will.

“It also amounts to a significant admission of failure on the government’s part as it has already introduced mechanisms such as Project Merlin and the Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme, designed to encourage the banks to lend to viable businesses.

“These schemes should have met the needs of businesses had the banks delivered on them, but they failed.”

Latest news

Another demolition director banned after bid rigging probe

Brown and Mason boss becomes fourth director disqualified after cartel investigation
2 days ago

Cyclist dies in lorry collision outside Keltbray site

Work shut down after fatal collision with truck delivering to central London site
2 days ago

Five hospitals at risk of collapse added to new build programme

Weak concrete crisis and soaring costs force £20bn hospital programme rethink
2 days ago

Scottish South West Hub names new partners

Balfour Beatty joins construction partners for first time
2 days ago

RC frame specialist Getjar revenue tops £100m again

Profit margins nearly halved in face of labour and material price rises
2 days ago

London’s Camden Council advances £470m King’s Cross scheme

Camley Street scheme to consist of 350 homes and 200,000 sq ft of offices
2 days ago

Vinci issues fraud alert to suppliers

Subcontractors targeted by scammers posing as main contractor
3 days ago

Solar panels set to cover commercial buildings

Latest government taskforce targets power potential of non-residential roofs
2 days ago

Quantum Construction collapse costs suppliers £4.3m

Liquidator reveals scale of debts at Staffordshire contractor
3 days ago

Jaguar Land Rover set to build huge gigafactory in Somerset

The vast battery plant would be one of the biggest buildings in the UK
3 days ago

Tender race starts for £95m Victoria Tower repair job

Up to five firms will be invited to bid with work set to start by end of next year
4 days ago

Go-ahead for Brum iconic curved truss HS2 bridge

Balfour Beatty Vinci will carry out one of the largest bridge launches in the UK
3 days ago

Green light for Trafford Waters 85-bed care home

Montpelier Estate advances specialist dementia nursing home at major regeneration site
3 days ago

Fusion21 awards £300m building and refurb framework

Over 60 firms secure places on national building and refurb deals
3 days ago

Supply chain owed £3.8m after collapse of London builder

ME Construction went into administration in March
4 days ago

Ferrovial Construction UK plunges to £30m loss

£54m provisions for Silvertown Tunnel fixed-price contract tip firm into the red
4 days ago

HG Construction hits record revenue but profit slides

Material and labour inflation halves operating margin
4 days ago

Aggregate Industries buys big Midlands concrete block maker

Telford-based Besblock makes 1.7 million m² of aggregate building blocks a year
4 days ago

McAlpine starts Paradise Birmingham green office

10-storey Three Chamberlain Square office project finally gets underway
4 days ago

Wates regional MD joins McLaughlin & Harvey

John Carlin to lead expansion plans in the Midlands
4 days ago

Contractor collapse causes losses at Watkin Jones

Results at build to rent specialist also hit by redundancy costs
5 days ago

Helical to start £100m London office refurb job

Developer gears up to deliver 790,000 sq ft pipeline of projects in the capital
5 days ago

Barratt board requests chairman John Allan resigns

Chair designate Caroline Silver will take over three months earlier than planned
5 days ago

London office revamps rise to all-time high

Developers race to avoid obsolescence from new energy performance ratings
5 days ago

VolkerStevin seals deal to start Sunderland footbridge

Work to start in weeks on £31m high-level smart bridge
6 days ago

Skanska gets start date for delayed £507m A428 dualling job

National Highways set start date for Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet upgrade after legal challenge fails
6 days ago

T&T strengthens UK team with new MDs

Trio of promotions to UK senior management team
5 days ago

Project pros in construction see salaries rise 10%

Construction among best paid sectors as average salaries hit £57,500
6 days ago

Over 800 schools granted £450m for refurbs

Condition Improvement Funding allocated to fix roofs, boilers and windows
6 days ago

HMRC strike hits construction subbies

Subcontractors struggling to reach help line if CIS deduction rates are wrong
6 days ago

Contractor services