UK construction sector responds to the Spring Budget

The UK construction industry has responded to announcements made by the Chancellor in today’s Spring Budget.

Photo: AdobeStock

Described as a “budget for growth” by Jeremy Hunt, the budget saw the Government pledge to deliver 12 new investment zones as well as a £9 billion policy of ‘full capital expensing’ for the next three years, which means companies can claim 100% capital allowances on plant and machinery investments.

Suneeta Johal, chief executive of the Construction Equipment Association (CEA) said the investment zones and £80 billion funding offers “an excellent opportunity for collaboration and innovation.”

On the new capital allowance scheme, which replaces the super-deduction allowance (SDA), Johal said the move should be “saluted” but she hopes to see the Chancellor “follow through on his aim to make it permanent to encourage investment and provide stability in the long term.”

Kevin Minton, chief executive of the Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA), said that he is “seeking clarification from the Treasury on the details around the successor to the SDA, and whether the plant-hire sector can qualify for this new scheme.”

Elsewhere, the Chancellor also pledged to increase efforts to encourage over-50s to the workplace with the Returnerships scheme, that will be added to the Governments existing training programmes.

Minton said that although the announcement will “address the skills shortage”, the scheme should “complement existing initiatives” already in place, while Johal said the scheme “is not the silver bullet we were hoping to fill the chronic skills gap in our sector.”

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