The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) has welcomed the Government’s plans to protect wages, announced last Friday by Government.
According to the national trade body, the move from chancellor Rishi Sunak could ensure the UK’s vital building materials supply chain – which represents a large proportion of the national economy – is kept moving.
With the building materials sector valued at £55 billion pounds – and responsible for hundreds of thousands of jobs across the UK – the Federation has advised the Government of the devastating impact if the pandemic shuts down the industry.
John Newcomb, chief executive of the BMF, said: “Around 80 per cent of the UK’s building materials are manufactured in the UK, which is a considerable benefit, particularly in these hugely challenging times.
“BMF merchant members perform a vital function in distributing materials and products from quarries, kilns, sawmills, factories and ports to where they are needed on-site every day.
“Unlike supermarkets and high street retailers, we do not anticipate panic buying of the materials and products that BMF members make, stock and deliver.
“However, it is important that this vital part of our economy is able to function, to support the national economy in this difficult time.”
Newcomb added: “These are unprecedented times, but we can work together to pull through.
“The manufacturers, merchants and supply companies we represent are willing to work in partnership with Government on the serious construction, housing and employment issues we jointly face.”