It is crucial tomorrow’s MPs fully appreciate the benefits of building….
- The construction industry is a much larger part of the economy than many may realise: in fact, it can account for as much as 10 per cent of GDP. Promoting sensible decisions on construction will help boost both the UK’s national and regional economies.
- Construction can play a significant role in boosting employment within all MPs’ constituencies. And the industry employs about three million people, so it is important to remember that any cuts to building work equals a rising number of people facing the dole queue.
- Construction is not just about the Olympics or other show projects. Retrofitting is a huge part of what the sector does, and it will feature right at the top of the green agenda in the coming years. Based on the UK Low Carbon Transition Plan, investment in construction is a prerequisite for achieving ambitious carbon reduction targets - and improving the efficiency of British buildings will ultimately provide huge savings for the public purse.
- It is crucial for politicians to understand the deep frustrations of the industry regarding planning. An intelligent appreciation of the balance between local needs and national infrastructure requirements should be a must for every MP.
- Public spending cuts may be inevitable, but that does not necessarily mean huge numbers of capital projects need be slashed. The construction industry is not only working to become increasingly cost-effective on all sorts of projects, but is also keen to help the Government find ways of procuring contractors much more cheaply and ‘spending to save’.
- There are currently about 1.8 million households on council waiting lists. And population projections show the situation is set to worsen. Investment in housing is hugely important, not just for builders but for local employment - for every home built, two direct full-time jobs and four supply chain jobs are created - and quality of life within the community.
- New nuclear plants and wind farms aren’t solely environmental and localism issues. The decision to take forward or block a scheme can have huge implications for the construction sector, which - particularly in the current economic climate - is relying heavily on energy companies to provide it with billions of pounds worth of work. The industry can help MPs achieve political objectives and meet renewables targets, but it requires visibility of work in the pipeline.
- Pledging to improve local transport may not necessarily be a vote-winner, but a look at broader surveys will show it is resoundingly important for community satisfaction. It is an inexplicable aspect of British politics that calls for more investment here are not heeded.