MPs join trade bodies in Get Britain Building campaign proposing 10-point plan to boost the industry
A coalition of trade bodies and MPs will go to Westminster today to launch the Get Britain Building campaign in a bid to boost the ailing construction sector.
Organisations including the Federation of Master Builders, the Modern Masonry Alliance, the Builders Merchants Federation and British Precast will present to construction minister Ian Pearson a 10-point plan designed to ease industry pressure.
The campaign is being backed by more than 30 industry organisations as well as a cross-party group of MPs including shadow construction minister Mark Prisk and Liberal Democrat shadow business minister Lorely Burt.
The manifesto's points include:
1. Ensure responsible lending to prudent borrowers and reintroduce mortgage interest tax relief
2. Cut VAT from 17.5% (15% for the next 13 months) to 5% for all building repair and maintenance work
3. Develop and implement a coherent strategy on housing stock in terms of both helping create more homes and making existing stock more energy-efficient
4. Set targets for all local authorities to fast-track the planning process to release and designate land for social housing
5. Simplify the planning system
6. Produce an implementation plan to show the precise timings and location of public spending on schools, hospitals and prisons to ensure that projects are completed in 2009 and 2010 respectively
7. Introduce a section 106 agreement holiday and subsequently cap the value of section 106 agreements. Abandon the proposed community infrastructure levy
8. Reduce the regulatory and fiscal burden
9. Reform stamp duty so that higher rates of stamp duty apply only to the proportion of the house price which is in the relevant band, so that it becomes a graduated tax like income tax
10. Reintroduce empty property rate relief.
The organisers are also urging companies to contact their MP to promote the 10 points and to add campaign logo to their websites.