Builders Merchants Federation calls on new Government to act on greener homes

Builders Merchants Federation calls on new Government to act on greener homes

A leading trade body, representing the UK’s multi-billion pound building materials’ sector, is calling for swift action from the new Government to transform the construction industry.

The Chief Executive of The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF), John Newcomb, is calling on Conservative leaders to set the conditions for a more productive, greener sector, which in turn will protect and create vital jobs across the UK.

John Newcomb said: “We congratulate Boris Johnson and his Conservative Party on being elected as the new UK Government.

“Now the real work begins and we need to see a policy and real action to build homes, eliminate carbon in our housing stock and create prosperity.

“We keenly await news of the appointment of both the next Housing Minister and Climate Change Minister as they have responsibilities affecting the building materials’ supply chain.

The BMF wants the new Government to look beyond Brexit to domestic policy, with ministers being urged to focus on two major issues, namely the narrowing of the gap between housing demand and supply, and the decarbonisation of heating and electrification of homes with sustainable means.

Mr Newcomb added: “On new housing, BMF members want to see unrelenting political determination behind concerted action to simplify and speed up planning approvals for uncontroversial applications to increase housing completions.

“The whole thrust must be implementation, so BMF members can invest confidently in the people and materials and products needed.

“Early clarification on what the future holds for the ‘Help To Buy’ Scheme would be very welcome as a start.

“With regard to decarbonising homes, BMF members have a key role to play as they make and deliver the majority of materials and products used to provide low carbon solutions for today’s housing.

“The BMF urgently wants a coherent, long-term framework that combines better insulation, efficient boilers and low-carbon, micro-generation on the road to net zero carbon emissions

“Reducing VAT from 20 per cent to 5 per cent on home improvement works is central to this and the BMF, along with others in construction, have already written to Mr Johnson to outline the economic, environmental and social benefits from improving existing properties with a lower VAT rate.”

The BMF values the builders’ merchant and building material supply sector at £56 billion – which directly provides more than 330,000 jobs, across 23,000 companies in the UK.

John Newcomb concluded: “An incredible 80 per cent of all building products used in the construction of homes and buildings are manufactured in the UK.

“This home-grown sector creates vital jobs in manufacturing, construction and the service sector.

“It is an industry that has an important role to play in the economic and environmental performance of the UK, and we need the new Government to recognise the value and opportunities it can bring.”

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