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17Feb94 UK: BUILDERS PRESS FOR MAINTENANCE INCENTIVES.

Building bosses will today call on the Government for financial incentives to boost the maintenance undertaken by home owners.The plea is part of a major lobbying campaign by the Building Employers Confederation and the Federation of Master Builders to highlight the deterioration of Britain's housing stock at a time when the Government is slashing renovation funds.The English House Condition Survey last year found that well over two million homes were unfit or seriously derelict.Meanwhile, spending on renovation grants is set to fall to some £350 million in 1994/95 and to £250 million the following year.During the recession in the early 1980s, the Government boosted renovation grants to more than £1 billion to help construction firms, but in this recession they have faced the axe.The BEC/FMB working group behind the campaign claims that increasing grants is the only way to tackle the problem of dereliction, because owners of unfit homes are mostly on low incomes and do not benefit from tax concessions.For wealthier home owners it argues the case for tax breaks to those who commit themselves to regular maintenance. CONSTRUCTION NEWS

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