Lafarge Tarmac’s Dr Bill looks at what we can hope for from the Budget
The Budget is due next week and no doubt continued austerity will still be the name of the game. It has already been a tough few years for the building industry and we would, along with the rest of the country, welcome some more positive news.
So, I have dedicated this blog to considering what I would ask our Chancellor for, if given the chance. Of course, nil income tax and free lunches for all would be a start! But, with my expert hat on, what in the Budget would best benefit the building industry and with it both Builders Merchants and building materials suppliers?
At its simplest (and at heart I am just a simple engineer), a Budget that stimulates house-building is what is needed.
We read in the papers daily about the pent up demand for new and affordable housing, but despite Funding for Lending and various incentive schemes we clearly need another form of catalyst or stimulus to trigger the real expansion of this sector. Government is probably the only agency that can do this.
Building and construction generates a significant proportion of the UK GDP, but is all too often overlooked as a potential vehicle for growth. Building generates jobs, both directly and indirectly, and also provides the infrastructure necessary for the expansion of other industries.
If Government demonstrates its confidence in British building, I am sure this will be translated into increased growth.
In a similar vein, greater emphasis on supporting British industry, through ‘Buying British’ would be welcome. Companies like Lafarge Tarmac have a good track record of supplying high quality products at a competitive price.
The capacity is already there to supply an expanded market. Once again Government is in a unique position to provide a clear signal that UK-manufactured materials and products are top quality and should be the materials of choice for our growing economy.
So this would be my wish list. We can but hope that the Chancellor will hold similar views when all is revealed on Wednesday!
Bill Price is National Commercial Technical Manager at Lafarge Tarmac.
Follow him on Twitter at @Concrete DrBill