What the construction industry would like to hear in Osborne’s Spring Budget

Wednesday’s Budget will have far-reaching consequences for construction - both good and bad. On the plus side there is expected to be big news on planning and incentives for retrofitting homes, while pessimists say there will be no new capital spending and cut backs in PFI schemes.

We’ll bring you all the news as it happens on Wednesday, but in the mean time here’s a list of all the demands being made by construction’s busy lobbyists.


The surveyors body is calling for a cut in VAT on the refurbishment of homes.

In its pre-budget submission Rics said the economy could be stimulated by boosting the construction industry through a cut in the tax, which rose from 17.5% to 20% in January.

UK Green Building Council

The UKGBC wants a Green Investment Bank with clout and more tax incentives for green building. This is its manifesto

  • A Green Investment Bank with the power to borrow, to provide low cost finance to the Green Deal and other low carbon construction projects
  • Reduced VAT on all energy efficient and low carbon products and services
  • Fiscal incentives such as Stamp Duty, Council Tax and Business Rates based on the energy efficiency of homes and buildings

Paul King, Chief Executive, UK Green Building Council said: “Doubling the energy efficiency of homes and buildings should be at the heart of the Government’s growth strategy. The Green Deal is a start, but it should be supported by a range of incentives for householders and businesses to refurbish and upgrade their properties and a strong Green Investment Bank with the power to borrow. These could create the conditions for a new low carbon industrial revolution and now is the time to set out those plans.”

Homebuilders Federation

The HBF calls for urgent measures to ’dramatically increase housing supply and address the growing housing crisis’. These are its demands:

  • Introduce a replacement for the hugely successful HomeBuy Direct shared equity scheme to assist FTBs currently unable to access the housing ladder because of the harsh mortgage market. This would have an immediate impact on house building activity and jobs
  • Work with lenders and house builders to address the wider mortgage famine and facilitate the introduction of solutions - such as mortgage indemnity insurance
  • Introduce tax incentives for a FTB deposit savings scheme
  • Seek to release public sector land - from central and local government and quangos - for development
  • Reduce the unsustainable regulatory costs being imposed by Central and Local Government that are currently making many potential housing sites unviable.

Stop the unfair Building Tax

This campaign group is a coalition of building and property firms opposed to Government proposals to change the tax regime for self-employment in the construction sector. These are its concerns:

  • Flat tax on earning as proposed by The Office of Tax Simplification would do little to stamp out false self-employment
  • Impact of false-self employment in construction has been grossly exaggerated and discredited
  • If the Coalition Government is serious about small business and entrepreneurs driving real economic growth, unfair proposals targeting these very constituents in the construction industry must be shelved

David Jackson, managing director of Hudson Contract Services, a leading supporter of the Subtax campaign, said, “Implementing the previously proposed legislation, that is clearly flawed and badly thought through, will only lead to further uncertainty in the short term, followed by months or even years of expense and confusion as the industry seeks to adapt itself for what would be a major change to long-established working practices. Surely this is the time to jettison these ’deeming’ proposals once and for all.”