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Apprenticeships and housing support welcome, but lack of green homes plan harms recovery, says FMB 

Published: 3 March 2021 - Neil Mead

The Chancellor presents a mixed picture for Britain’s builders, with the glaring omission of a long-term plan to make our homes greener, but welcome extensions to coronavirus recovery support, says the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) in response to today’s Budget.

 

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “In the year of COP26, the Chancellor missed an opportunity in today’s Budget to show global leadership with a long-term plan to make our homes greener, healthier, and more affordable to run. The Government’s commitment to green growth must include backing for a National Retrofit Strategy – an oven-ready infrastructure plan that will tackle climate change, level up and create jobs. While we welcome the funding announced for the UK Infrastructure Bank, we expect to see it use its focus on climate change and regional growth to back Britain’s army of small builders who stand ready to help build back better, and greener.”  

Berry concluded: “In better news, builders who are struggling to recover from the pandemic will welcome the extension of support set out by the Government today, particularly those in Scotland who are still unable to work inside people’s homes. I am glad the Chancellor listened to the FMB's calls to extend the Stamp Duty holiday. New Government guarantees on 95% mortgages will also boost confidence and protect jobs. What’s needed now is increased investment in local authority planning departments so that we can get shovels in the ground on small sites. The doubling of support for businesses who hire an apprentice is also a win for the FMB. 71% of construction apprentices are trained by small to medium-sized (SME) firms, and the extra support for my members is welcome.”

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