Senior Partner, Simon Jacklin, comments on what some are calling Mr Sunak’s ‘first-aid budget’.
There can’t have been too many budgets in recent times, which have been so comprehensively overshadowed by a global crisis – post 9/11 and the financial crash in 2007/8 come to mind.
Covid-19 has a lot to answer for. Aside from the personal human tragedies – world markets have suffered worse losses than in 2008 and the impact of 9/11 on the travel industry almost pales into insignificance when compared to what is happening now.
It’s very difficult to predict how things are going to play out across the coming months so it was heartening to hear from the Chancellor the measures that the Government is putting in place to try and mitigate the inevitable impact of coronavirus.
The Construction Sector
From our point of view, the budget predictions of slow future economic growth are a concern, but not surprising in the current climate and fortunately there were also some highlights in the budget for the construction sector.
The Chancellor’s announcement of a £12bn boost for the affordable housing sector is certainly good news. It will go some way to address our current housing crisis. This promised investment will also create thousands more jobs in our sector, so the initiatives to help address the nationwide skills shortage that already exists in the construction industry were welcome too. £120 million for 8 new institutes of technology, and £95m for facilities and equipment to support the roll-out of the new vocational T-level qualifications, is good news indeed.
Plugging the Gap
And, whilst it may not be entirely sufficient to plug the gaping holes which characterise so many of our roads, I was personally thrilled to hear about the £500m to sort out potholes!