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Cuts could cost thousands of construction jobs

Proposed spending cuts by the coalition Government could mean thousands of construction industry jobs are lost.
That’s according to the National Housing Federation, which believes the housing budget could be cut by up to 32% over four years, leading to 200,000 construction jobs being lost or not created, and 350,000 people being added to housing waiting lists in England.

The new government’s first Budget will be announced tomorrow and is expected to include swingeing cuts on top of the £2bn saved by cancelling 12 projects.

The federation, which represents England’s housing associations, said that if the housing budget was cut by a third, 142,000 planned affordable homes would not be built in the period up to 2020, and housing waiting lists would grow by 354,000.

Federation chief executive David Orr said: “It is clear to everyone that the amount of public money available to fund various activities in the future is going to be tight. However, it is critical that the nation keeps building affordable housing.

“Drastically cutting the housing budget could also imperil the fragile recovery, as our modelling shows that cuts to the housing budget of one third would automatically take £44bn out of the economy over the next 10 years.”

Housing Minister Grant Shapps said the government was “determined to build the new homes this country needs” despite “the very difficult economic situation we are in”.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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