Richard Diment hopes government will take immediate action to support businesses struggling to cope with downturn

The director general of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) met today with the prime minister to discuss the government's support of businesses struggling to cope with the economic downturn.

Margaret Beckett, the housing minister, was also present at the meeting, along with Ian Pearson, the minister for construction.

Gordon Brown
Brown: listened to concerns for cutting VAT

FMB director general Richard Diment said he urged Gordon Brown to provide further incentives to free up the “moribund building market”.

He added that the prime minister had also listened to his concerns for cutting VAT on repair and maintenance work to 5%.

“With 41% of our members warning that they will be making job losses over the coming months and housebuilding at its lowest level since 1945, the government must take immediate action to limit the impact and duration of the recession if it wants to protect the thousands of businesses and tens of thousands of jobs in the building sector,” said Diment.

He added: “It is encouraging that the prime minister is listening to our concerns and wants to meet again early next year to review progress.”