TUESDAY 23rd MARCH 2010 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Skills and training; the drive towards creating a greener Britain; and the urgent need to create a new business environment that will enable small businesses to thrive and prosper must be the three main priorities for the next government after the General Election, says the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).
The FMB’s manifesto, ‘Building for Success’ which was launched today in Westminster calls on all politicians to support the building industry by adopting the FMB’s twenty detailed policy recommendations. Main speakers at the launch included the Conservative Shadow Business Minister, Mark Prisk MP, the Lib Dem Shadow Business Minister Lorely Burt MP, and Gordon Banks MP from the Labour Party.
Speaking at the launch Richard Diment, Director General of the FMB said:
“The FMB is committed to helping the next Government create the conditions for a sustained economic recovery. The building industry which employs nearly three million people and contributes eight per cent of the UK’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is an important driver to help the UK get back on its feet. Measures to help support skills and training must be at the forefront of the next Government’s agenda. This should include reform of the public procurement to ensure that only those contractors who employ apprentices are on approved procurement lists for public sector work. In addition targeted incentives need to be provided to encourage more employers to retrain apprentices.”
“There is also an urgent need to retrofit our existing homes to help make them more energy efficient which will not only help reduce carbon emissions but help tackle the growing problem of the five million people now living in fuel poverty. Mandatory refurbishment standards need to be established that are consistent with the UK’s legal commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050. We also need to reduce the amount of construction waste which would be best achieved by providing more recycling sites across the UK.”
“For small building firms to prosper they need an environment in which they can operate without excessive control, regulation and taxation. In short we need a new business environment that will encourage innovation and enterprise. One important way this can be achieved would be to reform the planning system to make it simpler, faster and more efficient. The benefit of this would be to encourage more house building at a time when we are building fewer homes than at any time since 1947.”
“The UK is at an important crossroads because the decisions taken by the next Government will have a profound and lasting impact on the British economy. It is essential that the next Government supports and encourages the important role that small building firms play in the economy. All that is needed is the political will to ensure we build for success and deliver the built environment that future generations will look on with pride.”