In the industry's latest reaction to the chancellor's speech, the RIBA president finds the government's investment plans wanting
Sunand Prasad, president of the RIBA
The 2009 budget carries little positive news for the architecture industry amidst a global economic crisis. Regretfully, the government in the current economic climate has found it impossible to make a significant investment in the long-term future, whether in housing or infrastructure. Amongst the few chinks of light is the stimulus for housing, but the 10,000 homes is a fraction of what is needed.
We welcome the setting of the first carbon budget in the world - now the real challenge will be to meet this budget. The scale of the programme for improving the energy efficiency of existing housing is small, yet retrofitting our existing stock is crucial to tackling climate change. We strongly believe a reduction in VAT to 5% for home maintenance and repair would be a low cost measure which would stimulate further employment for architects and other professionals.