The construction industry needs to pull together and create a single effective voice, according to Bill Bolsover, chairman of the Construction Products Association.
Bolsover told the 500+ guests at the association’s Autumn Lunch, that this is the only way to ensure the industry would maximise its influence and speed the UK economic recovery.
Construction accounts of 10% of GDP and employs motre than two million people yet, there is still no one effective body which could speak on behalf of the whole industry.
Bolsover said: ‘I am very proud of what the Construction Products Association achieves on behalf of its members, but the one thing that members regularly raise with me is the need for the whole construction industry to have a more effective and co-ordinated voice to government.
‘I am therefore asking you all to play your part in persuading others across the construction industry of the need to pool our resources, our thinking and our influence. To create a platform – a kind of ‘Construction Industry Association’ -a body that government at the highest level will want to engage with because it knows that it is talking to the whole industry and to the people that matter.”
Bolsover also said that the construction industry does now have a higher profile amongst government and is now seen as a key element in the economic recovery.
“Yet, of the £694bn of planned government spending, only £42bn of it is earmarked for capital investment. Therefore, it’s vital to attract more private sector investment into infrastructure and building programmes.”
He also highlighted the importance of the challenge of getting the Green Deal right. “I’ve said it before, and will no doubt say it again. But I never understand why we charge 5% VAT on energy, yet 20% on the items which will help us to reduce its useage. Surely all Green Deal work should be 5% VAT-rated. To me this is a no-brainer.”