Chancellor George Osborne has come under fire for not doing more to help small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and first time buyers get the economy back on the road to sustained economic growth
Brian Berry, FMB director of external affairs acknowledged the ‘tight financial position’ the Government is in, but said there were a number of measures that the Chancellor could have taken, which would have had significant economic benefits for little, if any direct cost.
In addition to making more credit available at reasonable rates, Berry argued the Government should have extended the stamp duty holiday for first time buyers for property transactions under £250,000 - which expires in April - to help get the Housing market moving again.
He said: “It could also have reduced the burdens on SME house builders by providing a blanket exemption from the soon to be implemented Community Infrastructure Levy which will add around £43,000 to the cost of a building a two bedroom house in some parts of the country.
“The Government also missed an opportunity to delay implementation of its ‘zero carbon homes’ policy until the housing market has recovered sufficiently to support the extra costs.
“SMEs are the engine of growth but are likely to be excluded from the wider specific aid packages aimed at the industry. Adjusting these policies will do more to help small house builders who in return will deliver much needed jobs and homes.”