In response to today’s update from the ONS, showing that construction recovery has slowed, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has called on the Chancellor to use this month’s Spending Review to lay the groundwork for an ambitious long-term energy efficiency retrofit strategy to help the industry recover to pre-coronavirus levels.

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “The Government needs to seize the opportunity to set out a new strategy to upgrade our existing homes to make them greener and more energy efficient. Short-term schemes only help in part. What is needed is a long-term strategy. The Chancellor should use the Spending Review to announce an extension to the Green Homes Grant scheme, to give businesses confidence to take part, and accelerate growth in the construction sector. That means bringing forward the full £9.2 billion pledged in the manifesto, so that the industry has a clear pipeline of work.”

Berry concluded: “It means identifying the skills gaps and investing in the businesses that can do the training. We should also be making the most of the current trend for homeowners to extend and convert their homes, by cutting VAT to 5% on home improvements so that consumers have more money to invest in retrofit at the same time.”

Notes to editors

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) is the largest trade association in the UK construction industry representing thousands of firms in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Established in 1941 to protect the interests of small and medium-sized (SME) construction firms, the FMB is independent and non-profit making, lobbying for members’ interests at both the national and local level.

The FMB is a source of knowledge, professional advice and support for its members, providing a range of modern and relevant business building services to help them succeed. The FMB is committed to raising quality in the construction industry and offers a free Find a Builder service to consumers.