The three major parties’ manifestos are out but campaigning was suspended in the wake of the Manchester attack
Election campaigning by all the political parties has been suspended until further notice after the terror attack on Manchester Arena. The days preceding the worst terror bombing in the UK since 7/7 had been dominated by the launch and responses to the various election manifestos – with Tuesday’s attack delaying the launch of the SNP’s manifesto, and UKIP postponing the announcement of its plans until today.
The Conservative Party’s manifesto, reaction to which was dominated in the mainstream press by its social care policy, contained little new for construction, beyond a pledge to build “a new generation” of council homes without any indication of how many homes were required to equal a generation.
The Conservative Party’s manifesto contained little new for construction, beyond a pledge to build “a new generation” of council homes without any indication of how many homes were required to equal a generation
The Liberal Democrats’ manifesto included the expected opposition to a “hard” Brexit which leader Tim Farron has made his principle election position. But for the construction industry it included provision for an “additional” £100bn to be spent on infrastructure, including a commitment to increase housing investment to enable construction of 300,000 homes per year, build Crossrail 2, and spend more on new schools and hospitals. These pledges make it the only one of the three main parties to say anything about capital funding for schools, or to promise more than 200,000 homes per year – an amount official forecasts say is inadequate to meet demand. It also promised increasing regulation of the private rented sector, which the RICS said “could add to the squeeze on landlords”.
The Green manifesto said it would match Labour’s commitment to build 100,000 affordable homes a year, while rolling out a programme of insulation for existing homes and limiting the working week to 35 hours. Welsh nationalist party Plaid Cyrmu pledged £7.5bn of infrastructure investment, 10,000 extra affordable homes and investment in renewable energy.
Opinion polls saw the gap closing between Labour and the Tories, who nevertheless are on course for an increased majority.
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The letter summarises construction’s importance to the UK economy and calls on election candidates to consider the key demands in the Building a Better Brexit manifesto.
A list of the candidates is available from the official political parties’ websites, along with contact details. Feel free to add local examples of important construction projects or related issues – we would also be interested to hear about these local stories, so please email us firstname.lastname@example.org.