CPA welcomes key role for construction

Published:  23 March, 2011

LONDON: The Construction Products Association has welcomed the recognition in the Chancellor’s Budget that construction will play a vital role in stimulating economic recovery in the Government’s Growth Strategy.

However, there was disappointment that not enough has been done to stimulate housing refurbishment in advance of the Green Deal in 2012.

Commenting on the Budget, Michael Ankers, chief executive of the Construction Products Association, said: "We welcome a number of measures that have been brought in to encourage growth in the economy. These include a serious attempt to unblock the planning system, encouragement for sustainable development, opening up economic activity with the introduction of Enterprise Zones and helping first time buyers access the housing market.

"The proposed planning changes are very welcome as they recognise and address some of the difficulties faced by industrial and commercial development. By encouraging the planning process in favour of jobs and growth with a presumption in favour of sustainable development, will hopefully avoid unnecessary delays by local authorities and help stimulate economic activity. Similarly the investment in 21 Enterprise Zones will also encourage much needed investment and expansion in a number of regions across the country.

"Turning to housing, we are pleased that the Chancellor has recognised the enormous difficulty the housing market has been facing for several years and the introduction of financial help for first time buyers is a much needed boost. However, this is a very modest step and is unlikely to make much of a dent in the 100 000 shortfall of new build that this sector is currently facing."

The CPA added that the Government has made a big play on its desire to make the UK an attractive place to do business and we welcome a number of the measures, including reduction in corporation tax, support for fiscal initiatives and improved R&D tax credits. It was, said Mr Ankers, disappointed to see the early introduction of a carbon floor price which could well drive business investment away from the UK.

"What is equally disappointing is that despite the Chancellor re-iterating the claim that they want to be the greenest government ever, no measures were announced that would encourage increased investment in the energy-efficiency of existing homes in advance of the Green Deal which is due to come in towards the end of 2012."

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