BUDGET 2021: “Largely struck the right notes” states BMF

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) said the budget "largely struck the right notes" with continued support for business

04 Mar, 21

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) said the budget “largely struck the right notes” with continued support for business, as the country moves through its plan for recovery from the pandemic.

BMF calls on Government to extend Trade Credit Insurance

It believes the Chancellor is looking to the construction industry to help drive economic recovery.

CEO of the Builders Merchants Federation, John Newcomb said: “We were particularly pleased that the Chancellor sought to support smaller businesses by recognising the need for continued furlough support and business rates discounts, which will help our SME members as they return to pre-covid levels of operation.

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“Similar extensions to self-employment grants will help small builders and other trades who form the main merchant customer base and ensure they are still in business to service the needs of homeowners helped by the new government-backed mortgage guarantee scheme and the extension of the Stamp Duty Holiday.”

The BMF also welcomed the announcement of a UK Infrastructure Bank “which was a key ask of our Construction Leadership Council colleagues”, and noted the reference to investment by construction firms in the Super Deduction tax initiative.

John Newcomb added the BMF was disappointed the budget did not include support to upgrade the country’s housing stock with a National Retrofit Strategy.

He stated: “However, while the Chancellor spoke of the Government’s commitment to Green Growth, we were disappointed that this announcement did not include support for a National Retrofit Strategy.

“This would not only upgrade the country’s housing stock to the highest levels of energy efficiency, but would also provide a platform to upskill the building trade with skills required both to retrofit existing homes and build low carbon new homes, helping to achieve the Government’s Net Zero ambition.”