Chief executive Liz Peace urges industry to help coaltion make the right decisions on spending cuts

The construction and property industries must work with the new coalition government and avoid “knee jerk reactions” against proposed spending cuts.

Chief executive of the British Property Federation Liz Peace urged the industry not to panic in the face deep and long lasting public sector cuts.

Speaking at the BPF annual conference yesterday, Peace said: “We have to be very careful not to react with hysteria. We need to work with government to provide them with the information they need to understand our industry and to ensure they make the right decisions. Only then, if they make foolish decisions despite this, we can then campaign against those decisions.”

Another member of the panel, former journalist and lobby correspondent George Pascoe-Watson, said that Grant Shapps would be a key member of the new coalition government and instrumental in securing investment in property.

He said: “Shapps is one to watch. He has the ear of David Cameron, he has power. He is an important one to know in your industry.”

However, Ben Page, chief executive of market research company Ipsos pointed out that the new housing minister has a battle on his hands: “Mr Shapps is going to have to stop smoking the tobacco he is currently smoking and realise that people don’t like voting for development. They usually vote against, not for it, and that’s a problem he is going to have to address.”