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SEC welcomes budget proposals

The Specialist Engineering Contractors' Group (SEC) has welcomed the increased capital expenditure measures contained in last week's Budget.
'This Budget must be seen against the background of the 2004 spending review, in which significant increases in capital expenditure were announced, covering the housing, health and education sectors and the strategic road network,' commented SEC Group chief executive Professor Rudi Klein.

'Total capital expenditure in these sectors will rise from just over £21bn in 2002/03 to almost £35bn in 2007/08.

'The Chancellor has now announced a 15-year major refurbishment programme embracing half of the country's primary schools and an additional £350m capital investment in further education colleges. This is good news for the construction industry and the specialist engineering sector.'

Other aspects of the Budget, that found favour with SEC Group, included drives to cut the regulatory and tax administration burdens on business, fiscal incentives aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reduced rates of VAT on the installation of low carbon technologies.

The Chancellor also announced that the Office of Government Commerce and the Small Business Service will be asked to enquire into the costs incurred by small and medium-sized enterprises in pre-qualifying for public sector contracts.

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