BIMcrunch takes a look at how the construction industry reacted to Wednesday’s Budget.
Steps to kick-start a self-build revolution are welcome, but government continues to tip-toe around edges of our housing crisis.
Anna Scott-Marshall, Head of External Affairs at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) said:
“We welcome the Government’s announcement to take forward our policy on allocating land for self and custom build homes through the Right to Build programme and the promise that the government will finally publish its long promised prospectus on garden cities.
“However, changes to Help to Buy to deliver 120,000 homes by 2020 and the introduction of the Builders’ Finance Fund will fall short of providing the boost to housing supply we desperately need. The Government needs to stop tinkering around the edges of the housing crisis and start taking serious steps towards solving it.”
Rob Charlton, CEO of national design and technology business _space group said:
“I would have liked to see more for skills to help young people in the regions to encourage them to stay in the North East. Pro-business policies will help companies by doubling the amount available to support exports. As I predicted, there was little change to business rates and there was a tax concession encouraging investment, hopefully this will encourage companies to spend more to help grow the economies of the regions.
“I’m generally positive about the Budget – it was as good as it could have been. The problem London has is that its attached to a failing country and its how to reverse that perception. There needs to be a focus on incentivising young people and business to stay in the regions.”
Simon Rubinsohn, RICS Chief Economist said:
“Yet again, the chancellor has failed to overhaul the stamp duty system, with wages well below inflation and rents rising rapidly for years, many have been struggling to save for a deposit, let alone meet a huge tax bill.
“Helping more buyers to enter at the lower end of the market would have resulted in more movement and transactions, freeing up stagnant property chains and bringing badly-needed housing onto the market.
“While plans for regeneration and new homes in Barking, Brent Cross and the new garden ‘city’ at Ebbsfleet – which is really just a garden village – will contribute a little housing in the South East, these numbers are a drop in the ocean and they don’t deliver the mix of homes we need across society, from the private rented sector to affordable and social housing.
“RICS has long called for an investors’ prospectus for garden cities, which we welcome today. But we need a more ambitious approach than 15,000 homes at a time.
“To provide investors communities and developers with greater confidence, what we need is a proper political vision for garden cities and the wider economy.”
Duncan Symonds, head of infrastructure at WSP commented:
“Every Budget and Autumn Statement we get some sort of appendix update about the national infrastructure plan and it strikes me that it would be more informative to know which individual government departments are pulling their weight and which are delaying the delivery of important projects.
“I suspect the name and shame approach would have more impact in unlocking stalled projects than another updated list of projects and finance initiatives, and of course coming up to election government performance will be paramount.
“The £200m for potholes is a knee jerk reaction, and while welcome because there are urgent repairs needed due to the flooding, if there was better long-term funding we could potentially avoid the problem in the first place.
“The road repairs backlog already stands at £10.5billion and to avoid it getting worse local authorities need funding to undertake regular resurfacing which will save money in the long-run.”
Atkins CEO for UK and Europe David Tonkin said:
“The continued growth in the economy is a welcome sign for the UK and the engineering and construction industries as a whole.
“The budget announcements around new housing and infrastructure projects such as the new garden city at Ebbsfleet, continued support of HS2 and the £270 million guarantee for Mersey Gateway bridge, are not only great examples of investments which will improve people’s lives now and in the future, they send a clear message to investors that the UK is a great place to invest and do business.
“It is vital that the funding is released quickly and that planning processes do not unnecessarily slow down the delivery of these projects, so the economic and social benefits they will bring can be realised as soon as possible.
For more industry reaction, visit: http://www.cnplus.co.uk/home/budget-2014/reaction-industry-views-on-budget-2014/8660402.article#.Uyxr26h_uSo.