Small builders face another tough year

Published:  24 January, 2011

LONDON: Small and medium-sized builders in the UK are facing their fourth consecutive year of recession, according to the Federation of Master Builders.

One-third of builders are expecting to cut staff over the next 12 months as output continues to fall, it said.

Government cuts are making matters worse with more than half of builders reporting a fall in public repair and maintenance work.

The federation said cuts to social housing are also having a big impact on its members.

Richard Threlfall, UK head of building and construction at KPMG, said: "Two-and-a-half thousand construction firms went under last year and the Construction Products Association has said it expects no growth at all in this sector until 2013. This is a market that is in deep, deep trouble," he said.

The VAT rise, increases in costs of materials due to rising commodity prices, and government cuts were all hitting builders hard.

Threlfall said growth would return to the industry coming from the waste sector, the government's Green Deal and underlying demand for social housing.

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