Noble Francis: boiler replacement is still a considerable problem.

CPA: pre-Budget cuts in capital spending disappoint

Published:  09 December, 2009

LONDON: The cut in government capital investment over the next four years is a blow for the construction industry, said the Construction Products Association.

Noble Francis, the association's economics director, said: "With the construction industry facing a decline in output in 2009 of nearly 15%, the largest single year fall since the World War II, it is extremely disappointing that the government has confirmed capital investment will fall by 50% over the next four years, especially given its stated commitment to boost investment in national infrastructure and skills.

"For every £1 of the investment now being cut, an additional £2.84 would have been generated in economic activity creating much needed jobs throughout the country, according to a recent high profile report on the construction sector prepared by LEK Consulting," he said.

The association welcomed measures to help improve the energy-efficiency of the built environment and in particular, "the widely trailed boiler scrappage scheme, which is a small step in the right direction.

"Although tackling 125 000 boilers is a welcome start, there are nearly five million boilers currently in use with a permanent pilot light, so if the Government is to live up to its ambition to maintain leadership in the low-carbon sector, the scale of the problem that needs to be addressed remains considerable," Mr Francis said.

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