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FMB bemoans lack of Spending Review aid for builders

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has attacked the chancellor over his omission of further investment to help to boost the beleaguered small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK construction sector.

Announced yesterday (June 26th), George Osborne's latest Comprehensive Spending Review set out a number of new commitments for infrastructure investment across the country, but it failed to offer any new incentives or funding foe key low-carbon developments.

Brian Berry, the FMB's chief executive, said: "George Osborne's claim that the economy is 'leaving intensive care' may ring hollow for many construction SMEs - the FMB's State of Trade Survey of members, many of which work in the domestic repair, maintenance and improvement market, showed workloads in this sector still falling in the first quarter of the year."

He noted the government recognises the importance of investment in UK infrastructure, but this latest announcement does little to promote growth in the low-carbon building sector - a key market for SME traders.

Mr Berry added the right package to unleash the huge potential of the UK's low-carbon building sector remains to be found.

As a result, he argued the UK's economy is likely to stay on the "critical list" for the foreseeable future, as investment in low-carbon building will deliver thousands of new jobs and also help in the government's drive to cut emissions.

However, some respite was recently delivered by the government communities minister Dan Foster announced earlier this month that a £91 million investment into bringing thousands of derelict homes back in to full-time use is to be made.

A total of 6,000 properties will be targeted by the new initiative, which will focus predominantly on badly affected areas of the Midlands and the north of England.

"We have already made very good progress, cutting the number of long-term empty homes by 40,000, but with thousands of people in this country desperate to buy a home and areas still suffering problems of urban blight we must go further still," Mr Foster commented. 

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