Construction’s largest trade association the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has said that the 0.2% fall in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the fourth quarter of 2011 means the government must make construction a priority.
Director of FMB’s external affairs Brian Berry said that he wasn’t surprised by the GDP results as a trade survey revealed that for the last three months of 2011, the SME construction sector had declined.
Mr Berry said “Confidence in the building industry has collapsed with only 5% of small building companies expecting workloads to increase in 2012.
"The GDP figures prove that construction is essential to the health of the UK economy. However the industry needs the government to adopt a bold approach to reducing the burdens upon it; pursuing the proposed planning reforms and a reduction in the overall burden of developer contributions, which are still making many sites unviable, are urgently needed. Proposed changes to part L of the building regulations must be delayed. The government must do more to ensure banks return to reasonable rates of lending to the construction sector.
"We realise that money is tight for the government but if it wants growth in the wider economy it needs to allow construction industry get building.”