Investment that would stimulate local economies quickly has been cut, while vague promises for the future remain
This government has never really recognised that the construction industry could be a driving force for economic recovery and has continually failed to support it. What they offered in last month’s spending review was some high-level announcements on HS2 which, if it ever happens, won’t have any measurable effect on our economy for years to come.
What we got was more capital expenditure in the future and nothing that would actually stimulate growth immediately. To make matters worse, they announce that the communities department housing grant subsidy will be slashed from 2015. Investment that would stimulate local economies quickly has been cut, while vague promises for the future remain.
It is right to address infrastructure issues and we will be a better country for it in the long term, but it really has no bearing at all on our short term need to kick start growth. In the meantime, we have a government whose main policy on housing is to provide mortgage guarantees, starting another house price boom by increasing demand while supply is low.
Have we learned nothing from the last 30 years?
Stephen Gee, managing partner, John Rowan and Partners