First quarter survey shows impact of government spending freeze

The number of construction redundancies grew by a fifth in the first three months of the year, the first rise in two years, according to accountancy firm Wilkins Kennedy.

The research shows insolvencies rose by 19% to 948 from the 796 reported in the last quarter of 2010.

This is the first rise in insolvencies reported by the firm’s quarterly survey since the index peaked in the first quarter of 2009 with 1,209 insolvencies. The figures appear to back claims by the Office of National Statistics that the construction economy shrank in the first quarter of the year, despite most other indicators suggesting it experienced marginal growth.

Speaking in the Guardian, Anthony Cork, director of Wilkins Kennedy said: “The government has slashed capital spending on infrastructure across the board in order to plug the deficit and that has pushed the construction sector into a double dip.

“The question now is how quickly private sector construction work will be able to pick up the slack left by the public sector. So far this has not happened.”