The Federation of Master Builders

Brexit election must address housing crisis

Published date: 08 November 2019

The urgent need to build more homes for everyone should be a key priority for all the political parties during the General Election campaign, says the Federation of Master Builders (FMB). The FMB is calling on all the political parties to make house building a national infrastructure priority, along with 11 other key policy areas in its ‘Programme for Government’ published today.

The programme calls for the political parties to commit to the following:

Housing
• Make house building a national infrastructure priority and build 1.5 million new homes
• Free up more public land for housing and break it up into small plots for small builders
• Invest in local authority planning departments to speed up the planning process

Skills
• Promote vocational education and invest in Further Education
• Reform the UK Apprenticeship Levy so it works better for small companies
• Introduce a fair and balanced post-Brexit immigration system

Quality
• Licence all UK construction companies
• Introduce mandatory warranties for building control-approved work
• Create a new ‘General Builder’ qualification

Net Zero Carbon
• Create a National Retrofit Strategy
• Invest in upskilling builders to build and upgrade homes fit for the future
• Cut VAT on home improvement work to 5%

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB said: “In this Brexit election the main political parties mustn’t lose sight of the big issues facing the UK such as the current housing crisis. We are still not building enough new homes, and this has led to an affordability crisis and over-crowding. This election is an opportunity for all parties to publish ambitious plans to turn this situation around. Small builders stand ready to help the new Government not only to build more new homes but also make our existing homes more energy efficient.”

Brian Berry concluded: “Small building companies will also be instrumental in helping the future government tackle other major challenges facing the UK, from helping to tackle the climate crisis to helping to building the hospitals and schools of the future. Our Programme for Government gives 12 clear policies for each of the political parties to adopt to support SME builders. Politicians must not only give the country the gift of resolving Brexit this Christmas, but also a vision for the future of our built environment.”

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