The Electrical Contractors' Association (ECA) and the Building Engineering Services Association (the BESA) have issued a joint statement ahead of next week’s Budget on a number of the key topics affecting members of both organisations.
Chancellor George Osborne will deliver his Budget on Wednesday 16 March and key areas raised by the associations include: action needed on red tape and business rates to reduce the burden on small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs); support and direction for energy efficiency, renewables and energy storage; and the introduction of an online payment portal that will help ensure those working on public sector contracts are paid on time.
Both associations highlight the unique challenges faced by SMEs, particularly in relation to unnecessary bureaucracy and red tape and the burden placed on them by the taxation regime.
The two trade bodies are jointly calling for measures that will allow small businesses to grow, such as reducing the impact of ever increasing business rates, thus providing a boost to the overall UK economy, along with additional employment opportunities.
With regard to energy, the associations highlight the need to provide not just effective support, but long-term policy direction for energy efficiency and renewable technologies, in order to ensure a stable investment climate. In addition, the BESA and the ECA are seeking an improvement in the regulatory and legal environment around energy storage which would deliver much needed low-to-no carbon energy capacity, and contribute to UK energy resilience and security.
Finally, recognising the need to ensure fair and prompt payment along contractor supply chains, the ECA and the BESA are pushing for a centralised online procurement portal, to enable public sector clients to manage the supply chain through better presentation and analysis of ‘big data’, and allow payment requirements to be transparent and verifiable.