Buildingtalk reviews the 2017 Budget and the measures that will directly impact the construction industry. We also have some construction industry response to the Budget. You are welcome to add your views below.
Tom Farmer, The Brick Development Association
The Brick Development Association, representing brick manufacturers in the UK, welcomed the Chancellor’s target for new homes, stating with confidence that the brick industry is ready. The number of new homes delivered in the last financial year – at 217,350 – is 12% up on the previous year, with brick deliveries also rising at 12% over the same period, suggesting that supply and demand are in balance.
Brian Berry, Chief Executive, Federation of Master Builders (FMB)
“The Chancellor appears to be putting his money where his mouth is with the announcement of £44 billion of capital funding, loans and guarantees. In particular, a further £1.5 billion for the Home Building Fund to be targeted specifically at SME housebuilders can play a significant role in channelling crucial funding to this sector. A £630 million fund to prepare small sites for development and proposals to require councils to deliver more new housing supply from faster-to-build smaller sites will provide opportunities to boost small scale development. A second major challenge to getting new homes built is the skills crisis. We are therefore pleased to hear the Chancellor has today committed extra resourcing to training for construction skills. With Brexit round the corner the next few years will bring unprecedented challenges to the construction sector. The Government will need to make sure that the sector continues to have access to skilled EU workers.”
Richard Beresford, chief executive, National Federation of Builders (NFB)
“The NFB welcomes action on allowing local authorities to borrow to build, tackling land banking and empty properties back into use. However, policies such as the abolition of stamp duty for first-time buyers on properties worth up to £300,000 could still fuel demand without doing much to stimulate supply. The budget shows that the Government has listened to the construction industry when it comes to solving the housing crisis. Although there is much more to do, we look forward to work alongside the Government in enabling construction SMEs to solve Britain’s housing crisis.”
Ian Fletcher, Director of Real Estate Policy, British Property Federation
“The housing crisis didn’t happen overnight and won’t be solved in a day. We welcome the commitment from the Chancellor today to long-term solutions, and actions that seek to take that commitment forward. What excites us is the commitment to infrastructure, the opportunities that places like Oxford-MK-Cambridge will provide, and the more flexible use of government support through measures like guarantees, to support housing delivery.
Eddie Tuttle, Associate Director, Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB)
“With productivity growth, business investment and GDP growth all downgraded, a clear solution is to look to construction as an enabler that can allow all of these to improve. We need to be looking to the wider benefits of good public sector investment that go far beyond just economic value, including investment that can provide social, environmental and other hidden value”.
Sian Berry AM, Chair of the London Assembly Housing Committee
“The London Assembly Housing Committee welcomes the Chancellor’s decision to lift the borrowing cap on local authorities. The committee has called for this change for years, to stimulate investment in council housing”.
Chris Claydon, Chief Executive, Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB)
“We welcome the extension of the National Productivity Investment Fund, which will deliver a much needed boost to infrastructure. Removing the tax disincentive to transfer North Sea oil and gas fields will also be welcomed by the sector, plus the additional investment earmarked for the delivery of the T-levels and further details on the new National Retraining Scheme”.
Claire Fallows, Partner at Charles Russell Speechlys
“Despite Government claims that it is “determined the fix the broken housing market, the Budget has confirmed the commitment to maintain existing protections for the Green Belt. Given that a number of authorities are in the process of releasing sites from Green Belt allocation through local plan reviews, any claims that the Green Belt still remains sacrosanct are disingenuous. In light of that, a wholesale strategic review of the purpose and function of the Green Belt is in the interests of the country and is long overdue.”
Duncan Field, head of planning, Norton Rose Fulbright
“The Budget promises more of the same rather than radical reform in its approach to housing delivery and the planning system. On land banking and the rate of housing delivery, the Government has sensibly commissioned a review which will be led by Oliver Letwin; it is important that Government understands the complexity of the housing delivery process”.
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