The Construction Products Association has written to the Chancellor ahead of his Emergency Budget statement, urging him to prioritise spending in areas where it will be most effective, and to accelerate progress towards a low carbon economy.
The Association, which represents the UK's major construction products manufacturers and suppliers, is concerned about the impact any savage cuts would have on the £110bn construction industry.
It has highlighted key priorities for the Budget:
- Prioritise public investment in areas that provide benefits to the whole economy
- Ensure the UK is a competitive place to carry out a diverse range of businesses
- Accelerate progress towards making the UK a low-carbon economy
Michael Ankers, chief executive of the Construction Products Association said: “The government must ensure that future public spending is focused on delivering economic growth through the provision of essential energy and transport infrastructure, education facilities and housing.
“Where money is spent it needs to deliver the most cost effective solutions, as appropriate capital investment not only stimulates economic recovery in the short-term, but provides a beneficial legacy in the longer-term, by increasing productivity.
“As a result, the government should ensure that net public sector investment does not fall below 2.25% of GDP, as if it does the asset base of this country will begin to deteriorate and we will be simply storing up problems for the future.
“It is also essential that business competitiveness is not harmed. With decisions on investment made at a global level, it is critical that the UK is seen as a competitive place to conduct business, to ensure economic recovery is not delayed and to make long-term growth certain.
“Finally the government must provide incentives to help the creation of a low carbon economy, especially with regard to the energy efficiency of the existing housing stock. We welcome the ‘Green Deal’ and the proposed early legislation to implement this.
“However, this alone will not be enough. Government currently allows a lower rate of VAT on the professional installation of certain energy-saving products, but this list must be updated to take account of new products and solutions such as energy efficient boilers, glazing systems, water/liquid source heat pumps, solar shading, window films (internal and external), photovoltaics, green roofs, and rainwater harvesting.”