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MMA urges the Government to take housing action

The Modern Masonry Alliance is urging the Government to take decisive action to stimulate the building industry to avoid a double dip recession.

With the latest official data showing construction heading for a second full-blown recession and dire warnings from the CITB-ConstructionSkills that up to 45,000 jobs will be lost from the industry this year, the association wants the Government to directly fund building of an extra 20,000 social homes to stimulate the flagging UK economy.

Mike Leonard, director of the MMA, said: “We have seen the Government boost infrastructure spending as an emergency measure, which will help long term job creation.

“But the latest unemployment and growth figures show we need to create jobs and stimulate the wider economy right now.

“Our message is clear. The current plan is clearly not working and we cannot afford further hesitation.

“The Chancellor needs to act now, not through printing more money, but by funding a major social housing program where 92 pence of every £1 invested will stay in the UK.

“This will create jobs by ensuring demand for our UK based building materials industry and by creating construction jobs for young people and unemployed skilled workers.

“It will also begin to address the growing housing crisis and the social and economic issues that are a result of this.”

According to the Construction Skill survey the manual trades will be hit the hardest as the make-up of the industry changes in a climate of low house building activity.

CITB predicts that by 2016, demand for painters and decorators is expected to be 6,300 below 2010 levels, manual labourers 3,000 below and bricklayers 2,500.

Even with sluggish growth expected to return in 2013, by 2016 output and employment will still be 5% below their respective 2007/8 peaks on present spending forecasts.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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