Business leaders call for 50,000 new homes to boost economy

The CBI, the British Chambers of Commerce and the manufacturers group EEF have called on the government to ramp up construction projects as a way of boosting the economy.

by Michael Northcott
Last Updated: 19 Aug 2013

In Budget submissions ahead of George Osborne’s announcement next week, all three groups said that the deficit reduction should be a priority, but that more money needs to spent on construction, and mainly in housing. 

The CBI said the government should spend £1.25bn building 50,000 new homes, and reckons that such a scheme would create 75,000 new jobs in the ailing constriction sector. It also recommended refurbishment subsidies for older houses worth £500m, saying this would generate an additional 80,000 jobs.

The BCC voiced concerns about putting austerity above all else. It said: ‘Although the BCC continues to support deficit reduction, a point may come soon where [it] becomes impossible in the absence of sustained growth. 

‘The government may have to consider major cuts in business taxation and other radical measures, such as massive infrastructure pump-priming, if growth does not improve.’

The CBI also called for the 2.6% rise in business rates, which is planned for April, should be cancelled and that they should be frozen for three years.

Not many in business will disagree, we suspect.

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