Mike Leonard: Budget is misleading and underhand.
Budget misses the mark
Published: 28 April, 2009
LEICESTER: Despite calls from the Get Britain Building Campaign and other key industry players, the chancellor did not introduce a reduction on VAT for home repairs and refurbishments. The April 2009 Budget fell well short of the 75 000 social houses needed to deal with rapidly-growing waiting lists and the need to provide work for thousands of people involved in the manufacture of building materials, distribution and construction.
This was the view of Modern Masonry Alliance director Mike Leonard. He commented: "The Government has ignored our call for a cut in VAT to 5% on home improvement. It is a massive missed opportunity and underlines just how out of touch it has become with what is needed to fuel a long-term recovery. What we have seen in Budget is not the answer and will cause many more thousands of skilled workers to lose their jobs.
"We will work with the Home Builders' Federation and the Homes and Communities Agency to do what we can to open up sites. "The fact that brick and block is available and ready to go from builders' merchants is crucial, given the tight timescales and the need to spend the money this year."
Mr Leonard said that "The Get Britain Building Campaign will continue to lobby government to put up real money into our sector to fuel the recovery and make sure we have the manufacturing capacity and the skills in place and available to build the homes and public buildings we need for the future. "The current practice of announcing the same old money, as if it is new, is misleading and underhand.
"Spin will not get us out the worst economic conditions we have experienced since 1945 and the colleagues we are losing to redundancy on an almost daily basis have been badly let down by a government that has lost all sense of direction."