The Government must make construction a priority, says builders’ organisation the Federation of Master Builders.
The call comes in the wake of yesterday’s (January 25) Office of National Statistics figures which show that manufacturing and construction are dragging the economy back into the red.
FMB director of external affairs Brian Berry said: “The GDP results are not surprising, our latest state of Trade survey for the last three months of 2011 showed that workloads in the SME construction sector have declined in each of the 16 quarters to the end of December 2011.
“Confidence in the building industry has collapsed with only 5% of small building companies expecting workloads to increase in 2012.”
Berry said that they figures prove that construction is essential to the health of the UK economy.
“However the industry needs the Government to adopt a bold approach to reducing the burdens upon it; pursuing the proposed planning reforms and a reduction in the overall burden of developer contributions, which are still making many sites unviable, are urgently needed,” he continued.
“Proposed changes to part L of the building regulations must be delayed. The Government must do more to ensure banks return to reasonable rates of lending to the construction sector.
“We realise that money is tight for the Government but if it wants growth in the wider economy it needs to allow construction industry get building.”