Bill Bolsover: construction is vital.

Construction 'essential' for economic recovery

Published:  17 June, 2010

LONDON: Bill Bolsover, the chairman of the Construction Products Association, said the construction industry had a vital role to play in helping achieve economic recovery. He addressed an audience of 100 parliamentarians and 150 senior industry leaders, civil servants and journalists took place last night in the capital. 

"Despite the current economic pressures and the difficult decisions that will be taken by government over the coming weeks, spending cuts and tax increases alone will not revive the economy. These must be coupled with private sector growth to generate economic activity, create employment and nurture the fragile economic recovery and more than any other industry, construction is an essential element for this economic growth," Mr Bolsover stated.

"We build the energy facilities and storage capacity that will ensure industry can continue to operate efficiently in the UK; we deliver the transport infrastructure that helps make businesses more competitive; and we are key to ensuring we achieve our carbon reduction commitments through the new buildings we create in the future and through the improvements that are made to the energy efficiency of the existing building stock.

"If the UK is to compete in the global market our companies must not be hampered by wholly unacceptable delays in obtaining planning permission for minerals and factory development; by regulation and tax regimes that are more onerous and more bureaucratic than other European countries where these companies operate, or by lack of confidence about whether there will be a long-term supply or energy at competitive prices.

"'Failure to address these issues will mean that we increasingly import the products and materials from other countries, something that cannot be economically, socially, or environmentally sustainable."

Finally, the chairman of the CPA called on the Chancellor to extend the range of energy-efficient products such as double glazing and high efficiency boilers that are eligible for a reduced 5% VAT rate. 

He said: "No-one has ever been able to explain to me why, at a time when climate change is seen as such an important issue, we are charging VAT at 5% on the energy we use, but the full 17.5% on many of the products that actually help us save it. By doing this, it will be seen as evidence that the government wants to be true to the Coalition Agreement to be 'the greenest government ever'."

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