Union says construction industry is being bled dry by lack of investment

Tim Lezard

building siteUCATT has found itself on the same side as the Confederation of British Industry by renewing calls for the government to change course on its economic policy as the latest figures show a further devastating drop in construction output.

The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics show that construction output fell by 7.9% in January compared to the same month in the previous year. In further grim news the industry’s output from November 2012 – January 2013 fell by 10.2% compared to the figures for the previous year.

The biggest falls in the November to January period were in new public sector work which fell by 23.5% and new public housing work which fell by 20.4%.

At the end of last week, general secretary Steve Murphy said: “These figures are devastating, the industry is being bled dry by a lack of government investment. Unless the Conservative-led government changes course the industry will continue to haemorrhage jobs and we will be dragged further into recession.

“The construction industry needs urgent investment. The best and quickest way to achieve this is to allow council’s to invest and borrow funding for vitally needed housing building.”

And this morning, CBI Director-General John Cridland agreed with the union, saying: “To boost the construction sector, we are calling for 50,000 new affordable homes to be built, incentives for refurbishing empty homes and the housing guarantee scheme to be extended to all types of housing.”

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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