From: Brian Berry, Chief Executive, Federation of Master Builders.
THE Prime Minister’s announcement that the Government will lift the borrowing cap on councils to allow them to build many more homes is a victory for bold thinking and common sense.
We believe this could also have the added benefit of expanding the capacity of the private sector by providing more opportunities for SME builders.
In this way, a stronger public sector house building programme can complement and help support a stronger, more diverse private sector.
The private sector will continue to take the lead in delivering new homes, and to ensure it can do so, we need to continue to lay the foundations for the future. However, as much as this is a bold and praiseworthy move by the Prime Minister, new homes of any sort will not get built if we as an industry don’t have the people we need to build them. Recent announcements on post-Brexit immigration rules, if implemented as currently understood, will be a serious threat to our ability to deliver on the promise of this policy. The failure of the Government so far to listen to the construction industry could unfortunately threaten the delivery of the Government’s increasingly bold moves to solve the housing crisis.