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FMB calls on government to work on construction stimulation

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has called on the Government to explore more ways to stimulate the construction industry and boost economic growth, after recent data showed that output in the sector only rose by 0.3 per cent in the last quarter of 2012.

The figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) indicated that the small rise was a welcome up-turn from the fall of 2.5 per cent between the second and third quarters of the year, but FMB chief executive, Brian Berry, said it needs to be stronger.

“It is clear from the Deputy Prime Minister’s recent comments that Government now realises the wider economic benefits that capital investment via construction can bring, however it must do more to unleash the potential in our industry by pulling the right levers,” he said.

“Our members are ready to help Britain build its way back to growth, in the process helping meet the spiralling housing crisis and improving energy efficiency in homes and businesses. But we can’t do this alone.”

Mr Berry called on the Government to “meet construction firms halfway” and to put particular focus on small, local builders and tradesmen, who often do not benefit immediately from big infrastructure projects.

His suggestions for initiatives included reducing the VAT on domestic energy-efficiency improvements to 5 per cent, encouraging homeowners to carry out improvement such as fitting more efficient boilers and installing high-performance glazing.