As the Chancellor George Osborne delivers his 2016 Budget, the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) provides its reaction to today’s headline commitments and announcements affecting the built environment.
Eddie Tuttle, Principal Policy and Public Affairs Manager at the CIOB said: “Today the Chancellor delivered a business friendly Budget, particularly for small and medium sized enterprises. Around 600,000 SMEs will benefit from having to pay no business rates at all, while 250,000 SMEs will pay reduced rates. These measures, on top of greater support for the self-employed, make positive reading for the many SMEs and microbusinesses active in the construction sector.
On apprenticeships and skills, Tuttle stated: “With output in the construction sector forecast to grow annually at a rate of 2.9% until 2030, employers must be given the confidence to engage with the government’s Apprenticeship Levy and invest in workplace training. We believe the target of delivering three million apprenticeships by 2020 is a tall order for industry and are clear that quality must not be compromised in the interests of numbers.
“However, it was disappointing to not receive further clarity on the Apprenticeship Levy and how this will work alongside the existing CITB Levy.
On the decision to invest £300m on infrastructure he said: “The UK’s infrastructure is comparatively poor for a developed country with expenditure well below what is currently needed. With more people using our transport network and public services than ever before, we welcome the Chancellor’s pledge to increase investment in the sector.
On Building Information Modelling (BIM) announcements, Tuttle said: “We are pleased with the government’s commitment to continue to develop the next digital standard for the construction sector – BIM Level 3 – to help save owners of built assets billions of pounds a year in unnecessary costs and maintain the UK’s global leadership in digital construction. BIM Level 2 becomes mandatory on central government contracts from 4 April 2016 and CIOB is continuing to inform and educate companies and their workforces on the benefits BIM brings.
Finally, he said: “The Budget’s repeated mentions of concerns over the UK’s productivity growth are echoed by CIOB; we will be producing research in May 2016 with the aim to broaden understanding of construction productivity, as well as provide proposals to improve it, among key decision makers across government and industry.”