We’ve unpicked the announcements from the Government’s Autumn Budget and Spending Review to share the top five takeaways for small and medium-sized builders.
2. What’s happening with Business Rates?
If you are a Master Builder whose company operates from a business premises and you normally pay business rates, your bills should be frozen until 2023. Many small businesses already receive exemptions on their business rates bills.
The Chancellor also used the Budget to reward businesses that make ‘green’ upgrades to their buildings. Why does this matter for builders? This move should see more enquiries for those firms who take on commercial jobs.
2. Push to build more homes
The Government wants to see more homes built. It used the Budget to announce funding for up to 1 million new homes, as part of a £10 billion spending commitment on housing.
Vitally for small, local house builders, this funding includes £300 million to be used by local authorities to unlock small brownfield sites. With 63% of FMB members reporting in the latest House Builders’ Survey that land availability is the biggest barrier for them, we hope this funding will be welcome news.
3. Investment in Retrofit
You might have heard a lot about retrofit recently. It simply means improving buildings to make them more energy efficient, and the FMB believes that small builders should be at the heart of this process. Disappointingly, the Budget didn’t deliver the long-term National Retrofit Strategy we have been calling for.
It did, however, announce some funding to begin to kickstart the changes we need to see. £450 million will be invested to grow the heat pump market to hit a target of installing 600,000 heat pumps per year by 2028. Master Builders may start to see more consumers seeking to have heat pumps fitted, or enquiring about them. But it’s important that they are also aware of any ‘fabric’ improvements, such as insulation, they may need to make first.
4. Support for Skills and Training
In this budget the Government went big on skills, as part of the increasingly popular ‘levelling up’ agenda. What does this mean for your business? It should provide easier access for apprentices into your firm as more funding will go into recruitment services.
There will better equipment and facilities for T-Levels and more places for post-16 education. The funding will also help deliver new ‘Institutes of Technology’ to help offer more technical skill options for those looking to enter the industry.
5. Easing Materials Shortages
While the materials shortages weren’t tackled directly by the Budget, some measures have been introduced that may help ease the pressures, like more support for HGV driver testing and recruitment. Greater capacity should mean fewer delays in getting goods to local merchants. We know 82% of Master Builders in the FMB’s latest State of Trade survey reported delayed jobs due to supply issues.
If you have any questions about the Budget and the impact on your business, contact [email protected].