The Government must back local builders by bringing forward policies that support their recovery, according to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB). This is in response to ONS data, published on the 13thth May, showing that construction output dropped by 5.9% in March 2020, driven by a 5.1% decrease in repair and maintenance – the key sector in which local builders operate.
Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “Construction makes a significant contribution to our economy, so when output falls so does the economy. The Government’s green light for for construction sites to re-open safely in England is very positive but it’s going to be a hard slog to get activity back to where it was.”
Berry concluded: “To reverse the decline in output a clear plan for recovery is needed that specifically supports local builders. Small to medium-sized (SME) construction firms operate across the country, and create local training and employment opportunities. They are central to achieving the Government’s levelling-up agenda, and can help stimulate local growth in the long-term. This should be delivered through a national retrofit programme that sets out a plan for upgrading our existing homes. This should be underpinned by a temporary cut in VAT to stimulate demand for these works.”