Richard Diment, Director General at the Federation of Master Builders met with Conservative Leader David Cameron and Shadow Chancellor George Osborne at a meeting of small business leaders to discuss how politicians could support businesses that are struggling in the difficult economic climate at the moment, particularly in the construction sector.
Speaking after the meeting, Richard Diment, Director General of the Federation of Master Builders said:
"At such a difficult time, we are pleased that the Conservative Party is taking seriously the concerns of Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) at the highest level. We hope that as a result of today's meeting Mr Cameron, Mr Osborne and their colleagues will have gained a better understanding of the difficulties facing SMEs in the construction sector and will be able to champion our cause in Parliament. Today's summit is particularly good news for the construction industry when it is dealing with such a difficult time; house building is at its lowest level since 1945 and our latest State of Trade survey (PDF, 219KB) shows that workloads continued to fall across the board."
"During the meeting I reiterated the problems that the construction industry is facing and explained our five point plan, which we believe would kick start the building industry. Our suggestions include tackling the existing housing stock by having a coherent strategy to make it more energy efficient and greener, reduce VAT from 17.5% to 5% on repairs and maintenance work, simplify the planning system to make it quicker and simpler, abandoning the proposed Community Infrastructure Levy on developers and reforming Stamp Duty to make it a graduated tax. The meeting was very positive and I am particularly pleased that Mr Cameron will urge the UK Government to support the European Commission's proposals to allow members states to charge lower rates of VAT on repairs and maintenance. I am hopeful that the Conservatives will take the concerns raised in today's summit forward in parliament."
20 October 2008