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CPA responds to Government's Autumn Statement

The Construction Products Association (CPA) says it sees little support for industry in the Government's Autumn Statement.
Reponding to the Chancellor's Autumn Statement, which was made last week (5 December), chief executive of the CPA, Dr Diana Montgomery, said: 'The cancellation of the fuel duty increase for next year, capping the business rates at 2% from next April whilst allowing 12 monthly instalment payments, all will help. In addition, we're encouraged by the further investment to promote exports, and the Chancellor's strong support for increasing apprenticeship schemes together with the scrapping of National Insurance for some under-21's, which could prove a boost.'

However, she added: 'Missing from today's announcement was any mention of relief for our energy intensive manufacturers or changes to the Carbon Price Floor. The supply and cost of energy is as important an issue for business as it is for households, and the lack of attention in this regard will be sorely noted by investors and boards of directors alike.

'Another missed opportunity was the absence of clarity around the future of Help to Buy, the main driver in our industry's resurgence this year. This, together with the recent diminishing of government support for ECO - one of the only effective initiatives helping to improve the performance and energy efficiency of the existing housing stock - leads us to believe that this important sector both for construction and the wider economy is being ignored at great cost.'

Dr Montgomery concluded: 'We will continue to remind government that the construction industry is a vital enabler of the wider economy. We hope that the government's focus on a 'responsible recovery' will not jeopardise UK manufacturing nor the £20 billion per year market for repair, maintenance and improvements, both from a sustainability and an economic perspective.'

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