Date Published 15 March 2013
The Chancellor will be under pressure to help boost the construction industry in next week’s Budget, after the latest figures reveal output has significantly reduced 7.9% in the last 12 months, largely fuelled by continued stagnation in the housebuilding sector.
"Construction has a significant part to play in the health of the economy, creating and sustaining jobs within communities, and with fears mounting that it could contract for a second consecutive quarter, getting Britain building will be a top priority.
`So far, the Government’s high profile new schemes and initiatives appear to have lacked the substance needed to bring about a housebuilding revival comparable to the post World War II era. With less than half of the 232,000 new homes needed built last year, we need to see local councils acting fast to ensure new homes are actually delivered in the next one to two years.
`The Government’s shared equity NewBuy scheme has successfully helped tackle the dearth of higher loan to value mortgages for first time buyers, with nearly 4,000 signing up since its launch in March last year. More recently, Funding for Lending can be credited with helping to introduce a raft of new, competitive mortgage products but with the Government expected to place more emphasis on helping small businesses access finance, we could see these deals dry up for homeowners. We hope to see the Government reaffirm its commitment to NewBuy over the long term.`