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Britain needs to build out of recession, says FMB

The best route to take the UK out of recession is by stimulating construction to boost economic growth and tackle the housing crisis, according to the Federation of Master Builders.

The builders’ organisation was speaking out about the latest ONS GDP data, which shows output in the sector rose by just 0.3% in the final months of 2012.

While the UK economy as a whole shrank by 0.3%, putting the country in danger of entering a triple-dip recession, there was a small increase in construction output. This follows a fall of 2.5% between Q2 and Q3 of 2012, which as a whole was a bleak one for construction.

FMB Chief Executive Brian Berry said: “It is clear from the Deputy Prime Minister’s recent comments that Government now realises the wider economic benefits that capital investment via construction can bring, however it must do more to unleash the potential in our industry by pulling the right levers.”

“Our members are ready to help Britain build its way back to growth, in the process helping meet the spiraling housing crisis and improving energy efficiency in homes and businesses. But we can’t do this alone. Government must meet construction firms halfway, and find imaginative new ways of increasing activity in the sector, particularly for small, local builders who may not immediately benefit from major infrastructure investment.”

Berry added: “For example, the Treasury could incentivise domestic energy-efficiency improvements with a reduction in VAT on such work to 5% – home owners would then be more likely to improve insulation, fit high-performance glazing and more efficient boilers.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Fiona Russell-Horne
Editor-in-Chief across the BMJ portfolio.

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