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The Budget: investment needed for a net zero economy

The Chancellor must be bold, imaginative and use his Budget to lay the foundations for a net-zero carbon economy and action to future-proof new homes and retrofit existing properties, according to the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF).

Tackling regional imbalances in productivity by investing further in training and skills to support BMF merchants and their manufacturers, suppliers and trade customers must be the way forward.

That was the message from John Newcomb, BMF Chief Executive, in a letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak MP, prior to his first Budget next Wednesday.

The BMF wants Mr Sunak and his fellow ministers to concentrate on the two major issues affecting members – narrowing the gap between housing demand and supply, and the decarbonisation of heating and electrification of homes.

John Newcomb, BMF Chief Executive, said: “We welcome the Government’s ambition to help BMF members and the residential, commercial and public sector markets they serve to move towards a net-zero carbon economy by 2050.”

“Public and private sector finance will both be required to invest in industrial production and new ways of business operations to make the necessary changes. However, we see a genuine need to support businesses to make that transition. That is why we urge the Chancellor to use his Budget to invest and to demonstrate a willingness to work with merchants and manufacturers.”

Next week’s hotly-anticipated Budget comes only a month after a consultation by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government closed that sought views on the Future Homes Standard aimed at decarbonising new homes. In its response, the BMF said tightening the Building Regulations is realistically the only way. But this means taxpayer funds are necessary to transform markets, improve installer skills and bring about behavioural change.

The BMF has since learned from the recently-appointed Minister for Housing, Christopher Pincher MP, that his officials have received 3,000 responses to the Future Homes Standard consultation.

About Catrin Jones

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