Trade body the Federation of Master Builders last week called on the government to consult small and medium-sized firms on the reforms of housing and training, announced by chancellor Gordon Brown this month.
FMB director of external relations Andrew Large said: "The FMB will be pushing hard to be involved at the earliest possible stage in discussions to ensure that the views of small firms are heard on the taskforces."

Brown proposed a review of the structure of the housing market in his budget statement.

Large said that smaller construction firms received a raw deal.

He said: "Regional planning plays into the hands of the larger construction players that operate nationally or regionally to the exclusion of smaller operators."

Large also said that smaller companies should be heavily involved in a separate review of skills shortages in the construction industry, to be headed by former strategic forum chairman Sir John Egan.

He said: "The development of a skills and training strategy will address issues that are fundamental to the construction industry. Given the number of small and medium-sized companies in the housebuilding and renovation market, it is vital that small and medium-sized contractors are fully involved."

The FMB believes that planning obligations must be made clearer at the start of a project. He said smaller firms often wasted time and money submitting unsuccessful tenders because they were not made aware of the full picture when they submitted planning applications.