Industry figures have their say on Philip Hammond’s Autumn Statement…
FMB: “Chancellor right to double housing spend”
Doubling capital investment on house building and relaxing the timeline for deficit reduction is the right way to boost economic growth, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has said in response to the Autumn Statement.
Sarah McMonagle, Director of External Affairs at the FMB, said: “The Chancellor’s commitment to double annual capital spending on housing by 2020 demonstrates that he understands that house building and economic growth are intrinsically linked.
For every £1 invested in construction, £2.84 is generated in the wider economy and therefore the best way to protect ourselves from an economic wobble as we leave the EU is to invest in our built environment.
For that reason, the £1.4 billion announced for 40,000 affordable homes is welcome, as is the £1.3 billion for roads – the latter will help improve the UK’s infrastructure and make our economy more competitive.”
CITB: “Government funding for housing and infrastructure bring the certainly needed investment in skills”
The Autumn Statement’s commitment to a new £23bn national productivity investment fund, £3.7bn to build 140,000 new homes and £1.8bn to support local infrastructure, home building and skills needs will help to bolster confidence amongst employers to invest in skills and training.
Stephen Radley, Director of Policy at CITB, said: “Today’s announcements offer more certainty for the pipeline of work ahead, not just nationally but at a regional and local level in infrastructure and housing.
“This will help to boost business confidence following the uncertainties thrown up by Brexit. The local and regional investment should help bring more small firms into the supply chain, where much of the training takes place.”
CIOB: “Chancellor right to place productivity centre stage”
David Hawkes, CIOB Policy Manager, said: “It’s clear that the Chancellor recognises that improving productivity is vital to economic prosperity. In construction, we know what can be done to improve productivity, but require certainty for firms to invest in innovation, skills and training in order to support it.
For this reason, we welcome the £23bn National Productivity Investment Fund, to be spent on improving innovation and infrastructure over the next five years.
The CIOB’s report into productivity published earlier this year found strong support from industry and MPs for the public sector to invest in construction to help increase productivity.”
Glenigan: “Good news for construction in Autumn Statement”
The extra resources announced by the Chancellor in today’s Autumn Statement for social housing and infrastructure investment will be welcomed by the construction industry.
The promised additional funding should help to address the need for more affordable homes and tackle the shortfalls in the UK’s transport infrastructure. It will also help to offset the impact of faltering in private sector investment on industry workloads.
The Forum of Private Business: “6/10 for Hammond’s first Autumn Statement, disappointed that he has not gone further to support small businesses in the post Brexit era”
The absence of any specific incentives to improve skills through training is an opportunity lost.
‘Small businesses find it very difficult to attract the talent that they need to succeed, and a reinforcement of the Apprenticeship agenda would have been a move in the right direction,’ says Ian Cass.
The Forum continues to push for a simplification of the UK tax system and the removal of red tape.
Cass: ‘Business owners continually find themselves being drawn away from production and growing their businesses as they grapple with the country’s massively complicated regulatory environment, and it is disappointing that yet again the opportunity has been missed to make life easier for small businesses.’