Construction industry calls for a clear programme of investment in autumn spending review

The Construction Confederation and the Construction Products Association (CPA) have written a joint letter to Gordon Brown, the chancellor of the exchequer, calling for a clear programme of investment in this autumn’s Comprehensive Spending Review.

They are calling for a programme ensuring investment in the built environment that is in line with growth of the economy over the next three years.

Specifically, they want:

• Confirmation of the government’s commitment to increase spending on schools to about £8bn a year to ensure targets can be met

• A programme to address a £3.7bn backlog of repairs in the NHS’ estate and a commitment to find the funding for this

• Long-term targets to address UK social housing needs by new build and refurbishment. In particular, the energy efficiency of existing stock is to be improved, in line with Building’s 99% campaign

• Endorsement of the Eddington Review on Transport and a statement of investment priorities for the next 10 to 15 years.

In a statement addressed to the chancellor, the CPA said: “Decades of underinvestment take time to resolve and to reduce capital investment at this time would send the wrong message to the industry and those who stand to benefit from the improvements the programmes intend to deliver.”

• Alan Johnson, the education secretary, speaking at a conference of teachers last week, said the government would spend £110m over three years to reduce carbon emissions. He said the aim was to have 2,000 carbon-neutral schools, reducing emissions 8 million tons over the next decade.
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