This week, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak MP, will announce his tax and spending decisions at the Budget, and set out the ways in which the Government aims to support different parts of the economy in the years ahead.
There’s been some help for FMB members over the past year, including schemes like the Bounce Back Loans, and the extension of the Stamp Duty Holiday. However, as reported in our quarterly State of Trade Surveys, Master Builders are facing some major challenges, including materials and labour shortages.
The FMB has set the Chancellor five challenges for this Budget and Spending Review this Wednesday.
Back builders’ long-term plan for net zero
The Government has set the country some tough targets about cutting carbon emissions to help tackle climate change. It’s clear these won’t be acheived if we don’t make the UK’s 29 million homes less leaky and more energy efficient.
The Chancellor needs to back a long-term plan to retrofit UK homes. Last week’s Heat and Buildings Strategy didn’t go far enough to give builders the confidence they need to invest in offering retrofit as a standard part of their businesses.
Skills, skills, skills
The skills gap must be closed and the UK needs to get more people to consider a career in construction. The Spending Review is a perfect chance to commit to a comprehensive skills strategy that supports the small firms who do the bulk of the training, and puts rocket boosters behind efforts to support people coming into the trades and retraining to tackle future skills needs.
Make it easier to build the homes we need
Small house builders hold the key to building the 300,000 homes a year that the Government has pledged. However, they face many constraints, as set out in the FMB’s annual House Builders’ Survey.
The Chancellor can show his commitment to diversify the housing market by pledging more funds for local planning departments, and other investments to make planning faster and easier to navigate.
It’s an uncertain time for Britain’s builders. A temporary VAT cut on RMI work would help generate a massive economic stimulus, and create 100,000s of new jobs. Linking this to energy efficiency home improvements would also help kick start the retrofit revolution.
Quality means licensing
With price rises meaning customers are more vulnerable to rogue traders, now is the time for the Government to look seriously at the opportunities to implement a regulatory regime for construction to remove cowboy builders and boost consumer confidence.
Local builders sit at the heart of supporting the economy, creating new jobs and levelling up across the UK. Master Builders can help by continuing to take part in FMB surveys. Your stories help us to make a difference. For more on how the FMB is giving you a voice in government, contact [email protected].