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Contractors World UK & Ireland
2012 Vol 2 No 2
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Construction News - Economics - Business - Regulations


Photo : Peter Symonds

Photo : Peter Symonds

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udget - an opportunity to stimulate growthBudget - an opportunity to stimulate growth

The Construction Products Association has written to the Chancellor in advance of his Budget statement next month, calling on him to introduce a range of practical policies that, whilst helping drive growth, will not endanger the government’s desire to achieve its medium term deficit target, but speed the country’s economic recovery.

Speaking about the Association’s proposals, Michael Ankers, Chief Executive of the Construction Products Association said; ‘Public sector capital investment, will still fall 26 per cent between 2010/11 and 2013/14 despite the announcement made last year for additional capital spending in housing, education and infrastructure. To ensure the UK economy is given the best possible chance for recovery, it is essential that government focuses on sustainable investment for growth.

  ‘The 2012 Budget provides the Chancellor (left) with the opportunity to introduce a package of measures to stimulate the economy and deliver growth. This should include a further rebalancing of public spending away from current expenditure and into capital investment, as this will not only generate economic activity and employment but will increase long term productivity as a result of improving the infrastructure of this country.

‘However, key to delivering the infrastructure that the country needs is the attraction of additional private finance to compensate for the shortfall in public capital investment and the use of additional quantitative easing to raise levels of housing supply.’

continued >>>

Fragile recovery needs government support

The UK’s leading infrastructure contractors have warned that signs of growth in the sector may be extinguished unless the government delivers on recent investment commitments.

Results from the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) Workload Trends survey for the last quarter of 2011 published recently show growth in the sector for the first time in more than three years.

Five per cent more of those who responded to the survey reported increasing workloads when compared with those reporting declines, lifting figures for the sector out of the red for the first time since the onset of the global economic crisis in 2008.

The government has identified the infrastructure sector as being critical to returning the UK economy to growth. At his Autumn Statement Chancellor George Osborne committed additional funding to key projects to support this growth.

Yet analysis of the survey results shows that the improvement reported in Q4 2011 was driven largely by activity in the regulated sectors such as rail, water and sewerage. Activity in the publicly-funded roads sector continues to fall.

ts, CECA director of external affairs Alasdair Reisner  Commenting on the results, CECA director of external affairs Alasdair Reisner (right) said: “Having experienced a long period of declining activity any signs of growth are to be welcomed.

“However, we would be extremely cautious about any suggestion that these figures suggest a sustained improvement in the sector. Most of the growth indicated comes from regulated sectors that are currently at or near the peak of their spending cycles.

“Our concern is that as spending in these areas falls away over the coming months, there may not be sufficient activity elsewhere to sustain workloads.

“For this reason it is essential that the government holds firm on its commitments to infrastructure made at the Autumn Statement. By doing so it will help secure vital contributions to growth, while supporting the future of the UK’s infrastructure supply chain.” [CWMAGS]

 

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