Earlier this month the King’s Speech took place - a 500-year-old ceremony marks the start of a new Parliamentary Session, and the conclusion of the previous one.
Following the 2022-23 session, a number of new landmark acts have been brought in which are going to have a significant impact for the Housing and Construction industry in the years ahead.

What’s new?

The Levelling-Up and Regeneration Act, will overhaul town and country planning in Local Government, making it easier for local house building plans to be put in place. By encouraging housing that works for the communities they are located in, the Government argues that reducing community resistance can increase opportunities for building.
For those businesses looking to recruit new staff and grow, there have also been developments with skills and training schemes, with a Lifelong Learning Entitlement (LLE), being brought in to help people pay for courses, and train, retrain and upskill at any point during their working lives. This could be through a full-time degree, or individual modules, or other courses like, higher technical qualifications.
Other new laws, such as a Stamp Duty Land Tax (Temporary Relief) Act, a Non-Domestic Rating Act, and an Energy Act, have also been brought in over the past months.
FMB Members will also be interested to know that a new Procurement Act has been passed which will establish a new procurement regime for public contracting authorities buying goods, services and works. SMEs (small and medium-sized builders) are likely to benefit in particular, with a new system which provides greater visibility of upcoming work, and a single point of online registration. New laws will also see prompt payment prioritised, so that businesses throughout the public supply chain receive payment within 30 days.

What does this mean for you?

With the Procurement Act expected to take effect from October 2024, the FMB will be publishing a series of information and support tools over the course of the next year, to ensure that our members fully understand what these changes will mean for their businesses, and that they have access to the support they need to adapt.
The FMB regularly provides updates on Government Policy changes that are affecting our members, with online guides, webinars and resources to help you stay up to date with the latest changes. Make sure to keep an eye out for these!

The Future?

Following the King’s Speech for the year ahead, the Government has reaffirmed their support for regenerating our Towns and Cities across the UK. While details of what this will look like in reality are lacking, the FMB will be following developments closely and continue to fight the case for micro, small and medium-sized builders to be given a central role in delivering these projects.
Plans have also been announced to revolutionise technical education with the introduction of an Advanced British Standard, reducing the number of people taking poor quality degrees, and increasing the number of high-quality apprenticeships.
Despite these positive changes, there were some notable omissions from the King's Speech. No new announcements were made on house building, despite the challenging times that the industry is experiencing. The FMB will continue to fight for the interests of its members and ensure that this vital issue is given the priority that it desperately needs.

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