Here is our assessment of how the five aims of Building’s Charter 284 campaign fared …
Complete the renewal of the school estate
The education capital spend budget escaped the knife, but a large slice of the £55bn Building Schools for the Future programme is expected to be put on hold - including any scheme that has not reached preferred bidder stage. Osborne’s pledge to protect education as much as possible from the 25% departmental spending cuts means renewal programmes can still go ahead, but not on the scale of BSF.
Don’t let spending on transport infrastructure fall more than 10% below current levels
The transport department will be expected to take a hit of about 25% to its expenditure, but we don’t know where it will hit. The Kent Thameside Strategic Transport Programme was suspended pending further consideration last week and there is a danger that more schemes will follow. Government commitment to other schemes, including Birmingham New Street station and rail projects in the North, shows that it does see value in the sector, but the future for roads projects is of particular concern.
Reduce the regulatory burden on the housing sector
A disappointing budget. Previous commitments to examine the regulatory burden on housebuilders were not repeated.
Give householders incentives to green existing homes
The Budget reiterates commitment to introduce a green economy bill to give householders a financial incentive to improve their homes.
Prioritise the development of renewable and nuclear energy
The commitment to Labour’s plans for a green investment bank to encourage funding for low carbon technologies is a boost.