The new chairman of the Construction Products Association has warned the government that the country will “crumble” if capital spending drops to projected levels

Bill Bolsover, former chief executive of Aggregate Industries, took over from Adrian Barden last month. Speaking at the start of his 12-month term, the 59 year old warned that the public building stock would deteriorate rapidly if capital spending cuts were too savage.

He said: “If you look at capital spending, it is currently projected to drop to 1.25% of GDP in 2014 (compared with 3.6% in 2009).

It’s dropping fast and we don’t want it to drop below 2.25%. If your capital spending drops and you can’t even maintain the current infrastructure - hospitals, schools, housing - it starts to crumble quickly.”

“If you can’t even maintain the infrastructure, it starts to crumble quickly”

Bill Bolsover

Bolsover’s comments come in the week that the coalition government began to swing the axe on public spending. George Osborne, the new chancellor of the exchequer, announced on Monday where the first £6.2bn of savings would be made.

Analysis by the CPA shows that the £6bn of immediate cuts could have a big impact on construction output projections for the year. The CPA said that if a third of the cuts - £2bn - came from construction spending, it would turn a projected fall in output of 3% in 2010 into a 5% drop.

Bolsover, who also serves on the UK Green Building Council, said the CPA was trying to get a message to the coalition government about construction’s importance in getting the economy going.

Bolsover continued: “I’m banging on the table about the same thing Building is campaigning on with Charter 284: every pound spent in construction generates £2.84 in revenue. And seeing as the government can’t get the economy going through government spending alone, we’re going to have to do it through the private sector.

“But we’ve got to start lending to credible borrowers. Construction is a locally based business, so producers are in this country, employment is in this country and the stuff we build is in this country. But there are a lot of people who need money. Once we do that they will start investing.”