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Construction industry reacts positively to business friendly Budget

Construction industry reacts positively to business friendly Budget

Chartered Institute of Building | Chartered Institute of Building

3 min read Partner content

As the Chancellor George Osborne delivers his 2016 Budget, the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) provides its reaction to today’s headline commitments and announcements affecting the built environment.

The world’s largest professional body for construction management, the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) reacted positively to what it saw as a business friendly budget. While shaky on apprenticeships, the group welcomed further relief for small businesses as well as measures to improve productivity and digital construction.

Eddie Tuttle, Principal Policy and Public Affairs Manager at the CIOB said: “Today the Chancellor delivered a business friendly Budget, particularly for small and medium sized enterprises. Around 600,000 SMEs will benefit from having to pay no business rates at all, while 250,000 SMEs will pay reduced rates. These measures, on top of greater support for the self-employed, make positive reading for the many SMEs and micro businesses active in the construction sector.”

On apprenticeships and skills, Tuttle was more skeptical, adding that as the construction sector is projected to grow by 2.9% annually until 2030, employers must be given the confidence to engage with the government’s Apprenticeship Levy and invest in workplace training.

“We believe the target of delivering three million apprenticeships by 2020 is a tall order for industry,” he went on. “And are clear that quality must not be compromised in the interests of numbers. However, it was disappointing to not receive further clarity on the Apprenticeship Levy and how this will work alongside the existing CITB Levy.”

He did however welcome the chancellor’s pledge to invest in £300m in infrastructure. Expenditure in the sector has been well below what is needed, he said, citing that the UK is comparatively poor in this area compared to a developed country, especially given that more people are now using transport and public services than ever before.

On Building Information Modelling (BIM) announcements, Tuttle said he was pleased with the government’s commitment  to  continue  to  develop the  next digital standard for  the  construction  sector – BIM Level 3 – to  help  save  owners  of  built  assets  billions of pounds a year in unnecessary costs and maintain the UK’s global  leadership  in  digital  construction.

“BIM Level 2 becomes mandatory on central government contracts from 4 April 2016 and CIOB is continuing to inform and educate companies and their workforces on the benefits BIM brings.”

Finally, regarding productivity, Tuttle said: “The Budget’s repeated mentions of concerns over the UK’s productivity growth are echoed by CIOB; we will be producing research in May 2016 with the aim to broaden understanding of construction productivity, as well as provide proposals to improve it, among key decision makers across government and industry.”

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