National Federation of Builders publish Manifesto

Ahead of the next General Election, the National Federation of Builders (NFB) has released its 2024 Election Manifesto, titled: ‘Supporting Construction to Power Growth’.

Presented in five chapters and covering seven topics, the manifesto presents recommendations that are deliverable within one parliamentary term, and more importantly sustain growth.

man wearing red hard hat hanged on brown rebar bar

  1. Decarbonisation: Focuses on the UK building stock, tax incentives, retrofit and energy. It offers solutions to the challenges the industry faces in turning energy inefficient buildings into climate, health and economic assets, the grid into an enabler and government policies into decarbonisation and businesses advancement.
  2. Housing and Planning: Recognises the barriers of growth to a competitive, better housing market. With a focus on enabling small and medium sized housebuilders, making planning work, fairer housing outcomes, placemaking and affordable housing.
  3. Procurement and Payment: Highlights that since Brexit, the UK has not made the most of its opportunities and it must therefore explore how it can ensure it is spreading growth, rather than avoiding risk. From late payment and retentions, to process and penalty, a fairer system is needed for tax-payers and constructors.
  4. Environment: Looks at how policies on water and biodiversity are not delivering the outcomes that are possible within the existing policy frameworks. The recommendations should achieve an immediate environmental betterment and tackle the source of two major environmental challenges.
  5. Skills and training: Without an ecosystem where construction thrives, the industry will waste billions training up a new workforce for jobs that don’t exist. The best example of this is the decimation of SME housebuilders, whose market share has dropped from 40% to 9% in three decades. This period has also seen a decrease in the construction workforce, with apprenticeship completions struggling to grow. 

Richard Beresford, Chief Executive of the NFB, said: ‘The reality is obvious; the construction industry is a key component for the UK to meeting its numerous challenges and therefore the incoming government must not only understand where the barriers to our industries’ growth exist, but what that means for the UK’s ambition.

‘With more than fifty recommendations spread across five chapters, our Manifesto builds on NFB member experiences and involvement with policy makers to create a solid foundation for the reforms that would immediately deliver sustained economic and social growth in construction and across the UK.’

Rico Wojtulewicz, NFB’s Head of Policy and Market Insight, said: ‘UK construction is key to placemaking, fixing the housing crisis, building our infrastructure, meeting our climate obligations and enabling British business. Yet we appear to have lost sight of how we ensure it isn’t in decline and with insolvencies 30% higher than in 2019, something is awry.

‘The NFB manifesto highlights the gaps in policy thinking and ultimately opens doors for growth conversations, without placing further burdens on tax-payers.’

Image: Josue Isai Ramos Figueroa

More on this topic:

Local elections 2024: Conservatives in ‘a very tough situation’

‘Time for a change’: Business leaders back Labour’s economic plans

Paul Day
Paul is the editor of Public Sector News.


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