Construction Leaders Welcome Conservative Manifesto

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Construction Leaders Welcome Conservative Manifesto

The country’s construction leaders have been responding to the launch of the Conservative Manifesto, ahead of the General Election in June.

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB), National Federation of Builders (NFB) and  House Builders Association (HBA) all responded positively to the proposals, which will be put into place should Theresa May remain as Prime Minister.

While the NFB said they believe the manifesto shows that the Conservatives have listened to the concerns of the construction industry, the FMB urged the government to put SME house builders at the heart of their ambitious plans for housing.

Sarah McMonagle, Director of External Affairs at the FMB, said: “The importance of addressing the country’s chronic shortage of homes is as great as ever, and the Conservative Party’s manifesto seems to appreciate the scale of the challenge ahead of us.

“A revised house building target of 1.5 million homes from 2015 to 2022 ups the ante on housing delivery again, but these ambitions can only be delivered with an accompanying focus on creating a more diverse and innovative house building sector. The decline in the number and output of smaller local house builders over the past few decades has led to the industry’s capacity haemorrhaging. To deliver the PM’s vision we will need to reverse this.

"The Manifesto’s explicit pledge to diversify the delivery of new homes is therefore extremely welcome.”

Campaign for action

The NFB has campaigned for action against late payment and for more inclusive public procurement. With policies such as mandating compliance with the Prompt Payment Code and pledging 33% of central government procurement spending with SMEs, the NFB believes that the Conservatives have listened.

The Conservatives would also cut corporation tax down to 17%, support business rate relief for SMEs, cut regulation through the Red Tape Challenge, and support industries of strategic value through a National Productivity Investment Fund of £23 billion.

On skills, the Conservatives have promised to replace more than 13,000 existing technical qualifications with T-Levels, which will include three-month work placements. They have also pledged to set up a UCAS portal for technical education degrees and match skills according to local business needs.

On housing, the NFB and the House Builders Association (HBA) welcomed the reinforced focus on supply diversity and opening up the market alongside the Housing White Paper.

The Conservatives have promised to reform compulsory purchase orders and how council houses are built. They also pledged to build one million new homes by 2020, deliver an additional 500,000 homes by 2022, and provide another 160,000 on public land.

The HBA believes the Manifesto could have focused more on planning, but nonetheless welcomed suggestions to depoliticise the planning system, improve utility infrastructure, and calls for greater digitalisation.


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