Simon Storer: absence of encouragement for householders to improve their energy efficiency.

Pre-election Budget is cautious all the way

Published:  25 March, 2010

LONDON: Those who expected a 'political' Budget will not be disappointed. If there had not been a General Election in the next few weeks, one can only assume that this would have been a very different Budget given the scale of the public sector funding deficit.

Within the limited number of measures that were announced, the Construction Products Association welcomed the help for first-time buyers as a further boost to private housebuilding through the increased stamp duty threshold.

It also supported the announcement of a Green Investment Bank, although it said, it would have preferred it to have covered a wider range of infrastructure. "There are also some helpful measures for business, especially SMEs, and some positive encouragement for large scale renewables," said Simon Storer, the CPA's communications and external affairs director.

"The big disappointments are the confirmation that net public capital investment will fall by 2.35% over the next three years, something that will have a significant impact on the construction industry.

"There is a total absence of measures to encourage householders to take steps to improve the energy efficiency of their properties.

"The significance of this in the low carbon agenda cannot be overestimated and yet simple steps like a lower rate of VAT on energy saving products or an extension to the highly successful boiler scrappage scheme have been ignored."

The CPA beleives that the prospects for the construction industry over the next few years will be determined far more by measures taken by the new Government after the election, including the next Comprehensive Spending Review, than anything that was announced yesterday.

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