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Resolution to Eurozone crisis top priority for construction SMEs

A fifth of the heads of SME construction firms wants the UK to leave the EU in 2012, according to a new survey.

Independent research from IFF Research’s SME Omnibus found that priorities in 2012 for construction SMEs include a high priority for a resolution to be found to deal with fiscal problems within Europe.

The most popular response to the priorities for 2012 was 36 per cent of respondents who called for a significant increase in public spending while an equal number said Germany or France should take decisive action to end the Eurozone crisis.

Compared with UK SMEs as a whole, the research found that the construction industry places a much greater emphasis on increased public spending, with this policy chosen by 36 per cent compared with 17 per cent of respondents overall. 

However other wishes barely registered among respondents with just 5 per cent seeking a ban on strikes in 2012 and just 1 per cent seeking a new Chancellor following George Osborne’s autumn statement in November.

IFF Research joint managing director Mark Speed said:  “We all know that the construction sector has taken a real pounding over the past few years and it is not surprising to see that a large increase in public spending is at the top of the sector’s wish list. 

“However, the importance of the public sector to construction is such that one might have expected it to be further out in front of other wishes for the year.   

“The large proportion hoping that the ‘Merkozy’ approach [to Europe] will work indicates the impact that success or failure could have on construction. 

“With a further 20 per cent wanting to leave the EU altogether, that makes more than half – 56 per cent - of construction’s small businesses for which problems with Europe are the biggest issue in 2012.”

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