July 17, 2015

How Will the 2015 Budget Affect the Construction Industry?

Written by Rebecca Clayton

Last week Chancellor George Osbourne set out the countries future proposals for changes to taxation in the annual Budget proposed to the House of Commons. But how will the 2015 Budget affect the construction industry?

The Housing Crisis

Aluminium windows to residential development Aluminium windows to residential development

Housing is a major issue for both the financial future of Britain and the construction industry as a whole. The current housing crisis has profound social and economic implications for everyone in the UK and providing more housing and affordable prices has been a crucial financial issue for the government in recent years.

Within the budget the Chancellor announced the creation of ‘Housing Zones’ to identify brownfield sites suitable for residential housing development. Spending cuts during the recession meant that support for brownfield development nearly completely disappeared. The government’s 2016 plans identified 20 brownfield site housing zones suitable for investment to produce almost 45,000 new homes.

In addition, a new First Time Buyer savings scheme where the government contribute to these savings has been seen as a positive step in creating more investment in home building.

Ensuring that new houses built are made from economical materials and built to last will be an important consideration when planning new houses. Aluminium window frames and eco building material will go a long way to ensure that desperately needed new homes are built to last.

The Construction Skills Gap

The 20% increase in apprenticeship wages are hoped to help reduce the skills gap in the UK’s construction industry. Encouraging more young people to take up apprenticeships is crucial in ensuring that we have the right skills to service a growing construction industry, producing a highly skilled work force desperately required for modern construction.

Modern residential development in Harrogate, Yorkshire Modern residential development in Harrogate, Yorkshire

Regional Development

‘Northern Powerhouse’ seemed to be a popular phrase in the Chancellors budget. Proposed improvements to infrastructure including transport links look to turn the North of England into a viable alternative from the South East for new business and development.

New rail links like the proposed HS3 High Speed Railway look to encourage both new residential housing developments and business growth in the North of the Country.

IQ North has been especially established within the North of the Country to service the growing number of construction projects and investment in these regional areas.

General consensus is that the budget is a positive step for the UK’s construction industry but more needs to be done to tackle the growing housing crisis as well as reduce regulation within the planning system to allow more houses to be built.