The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) is supporting calls from Labour leadership contender Andy Kerr MSP for Scotland to have a dedicated Cabinet Minister for Housing. The FMB would also like to see the appointment of a dedicated Construction Minister.
The construction industry in Scotland is currently suffering as a result of the credit crunch. Already 15,000 jobs have been lost and Scottish Government house building targets will not be met; including affordable housing for first time buyers.
Grahame Barn, Director of FMB Scotland said:
"Andy Kerr is right to call for a dedicated Cabinet Minister for Housing, at a time when the construction industry is going through a difficult period, a Cabinet Minister for Housing who would be able to champion the cause of house building, both within and outside government would be most welcome."
"We would however go further and call on the Scottish Government to appoint not just a Cabinet Minister with responsibility for housing, but also construction. With the industry responsible for the provision of new homes, new schools and new hospitals, as well as the delivery of prestige projects such as the Commonwealth Games it is important that government takes a co-ordinated approach to policy that impacts on the industry. Presently responsibility for the construction industry is spread across several government departments with little or no effective co-ordination. The inevitable result is ineffective policies backed by often counterproductive policy drivers that more often hinder than help the industry in its attempts to deliver government priorities. It is time construction took its rightful place at the core of government policy."
"The FMB wants a dedicated Construction Minister to act as a champion for the construction industry both within and outside government. The Minister should focus on developing strategies, attracting resources, and help to improve the image of the construction industry. We are therefore delighted that Andy Kerr has made this first step in calling for a dedicated Cabinet Minister for Housing. We now look forward to Alex Salmond appointing his first Housing and Construction Ministers."
14 August 2008