Leaders of the Get Britain Building coalition have issued a stark warning to the government ahead of this week’s Budget.
If the government fails to act now with a series of measures to stimulate demand and provide social housing, job losses in the construction industry will rocket and the country will become more dependent on imported goods. This, the coalition leaders believe, will put the country’s long term economic future at risk.
Spokesperson Mike Leonard says: “If the government acts now it can still protect the building materials manufacturing base and builders merchants. They will also retain the skills that are both vital to the long term prosperity of UK PLC.
“By announcing a cut VAT to 5% on Home Improvements the government will encourage the renovation extension of our 24 million housing stock and protect many thousands of small businesses and retain and create employment. This action is now possible due the removal of European restrictions and a long term trial in France suggest the initiative will be cash positive”
With a number of factories having already closed and a predicted 450000 job losses by 2010, the coalition believes the industry is already at breaking point and that it requires urgent intervention to stimulate demand and provide social housing. “If this vital industry were to disappear we will become totally dependent on imports which, with a need for 3 million new homes, will put our long term economic future at risk.
“With one home being repossessed every 7 minutes and housing waiting lists continuing to grow, the time has come to take decisive action.”
The Coalition is also pushing for greater investment in social housing as government targets for new housing are being substantially missed.
Leonard adds: “By committing public money to build 75000 houses this year and next, those on waiting lists and many thousands of jobs will be protected. This will offer a vital bridge to the point where liquidity returns to spurn the growth of the private housing sector.”