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21 March 2012
The Construction Products Association welcomed the Chancellor's strong commitment to business in his Budget statement but says it will not bring any significant short term benefit to a construction industry that is forecast to see output fall by 5% in 2012.
Commenting on the Budget Statement the Association's Chief Executive, Michael Ankers, said:
'The government clearly recognises the constraints on our economic growth imposed by the poor quality of our infrastructure and a planning system that is not fit for purpose. But we are still some way from seeing any benefit from the steps being taken to bring private finance into future road building and we await the details of the revolutionary planning reforms that the Chancellor referred to.
'We welcome the direction of travel set by this Budget, and the various announcements to support housing, rail investment, and development. But construction is facing a very difficult 12 to 18 months and these will not do much to change this. What we would have liked to see is some of the additional savings made on current spending reinvested in capital projects that will not only provide a more competitive business environment for all businesses, but also create jobs throughout the economy.
'It was particularly disappointing that the government once again failed to do anything to encourage investment in improving the energy investment in buildings, and the Budget seems to have been developed in a vacuum as far as their claims to be the 'greenest government ever' are concerned.
'Companies will welcome the various tax changes that will help make the tax regime more competitive and the increasing support for exports. We are still, however, a long way behind the level of support that companies like Germany provide to their companies. One measure that has the potential to help many companies in the construction products industry is the major review of the Carbon Reduction Commitment, with the prospect that this will be replaced altogether if satisfactory revisions cannot be made. This has been a bureaucratic nightmare for our manufacturers and the sooner it is replaced the better.'