Contractors World

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Contractors World UK & Ireland
2012 Vol 2 No 6   
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Construction News - Economics Business - Regulations

Is indecision putting the construction industry at risk? - Page 2 of 4

One suggestion for a Thames Estuary airport



Make it a private venture, raising money by selling shares to the general public as in the days of selling of nationalised industries. I am sure that Sir Richard Branson would be more than a little interested in developing a special, dedicated, high-speed rail line in to London. High speed access roads running alongside the dedicated rail tracks could be toll roads.

One suggestion for a Thames Estuary airport

Many pension fund investors would support a scheme that emphasises the ‘great’ in Britain and is guaranteed to provide a substantial return on investment.

Time for decisive moves

The words 'pussy footing around' have appeared in newspapers recently  Government has to be more decisive and make decisions that the EU may complain to but it would only be a case of 'do what the EU members ay, not what they do'. 

The Government has to stop some of its irrational decision making such as giving large orders for Government supplies to overseas companies because they are lower cost.   Do they not take into account the social cost for the thousands of skilled workers who will have to rely on Government handouts as the work has been ‘stolen’ from them.

The following reports from various associations shows that, although the London 2012 Olympic Games put a positive light across the UK, it is simply a veneer over the real state of the industry.

Construction Shrinks by Almost 10% in a Year – ONS Figures Confirm

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) construction output figures for Q2, which have been published recently, confirm that nearly every sector of construction activity, from private to public and from housing to infrastructure, has shrunk considerably over the last year and that overall, construction activity across GB has contracted by 9.5% in a year.

The figures reinforce a number of recent construction indicators but there is growing concern that long term damage is now being inflicted upon the industry, which has for sometime been predicting this decline and yet is recognised by government as an essential part of our economic recovery.

Commenting on these figures, Noble Francis, Construction Products Association Economics Director said: ‘Looking at these figures, it is very hard to find anything positive to say in any part of construction. Across the 12 different construction indices, only one, non-housing repair and maintenance, shows any growth at all and that at just 0.8% year on year and 0.1% quarter on quarter.

‘However, what is most concerning is that private sector activity has also fallen sharply, implying that not just activity but also confidence is sadly lacking.

‘This situation is rapidly becoming a crisis and at this rate I wouldn’t be surprised if manufacturers begin to shut down their operations and lay people off.

   ‘There is an urgent need for government to address this situation by immediately embarking on a programme of repair and maintenance across all areas of the country. Hopefully the industry will not be allowed to disappear as it has in Ireland and other countries with half completed complexes simply abanonded.

   This is especially for housing and roads, clarifying the model by which private finance will be attracted to enable investment in major infrastructure projects and deciding government priorities for the amount of capital investment the country needs to stimulate growth. Without these measures recovery is unlikely to happen anytime soon.’

Hopefully the industry will not be allowed to disappear as it has in Ireland and other countries with half completed complexes simply abandoned.
Photo: Eddylandzaat

Act Now to Prevent Double-Dip Recession in Infrastructure

Another organization showing concern is The Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) which has called on the government to take rapid action to prevent a sudden crash in workloads from becoming a double-dip recession in the infrastructure sector.

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Page updated: August 2012



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