Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

BMF seeks for Government to start work

Published: 13 December 2019 - John King
 

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) is calling for swift action from the new Conservative Government to transform the construction industry.

Offering his congratulations to Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party, BMF CEO John Newcomb, called on Conservative leaders to set the conditions for a more productive, greener sector, which in turn will protect and create vital jobs across the UK.

John Newcomb said: “The new Government must look beyond Brexit to domestic policy. We urge the next Housing and Climate Change ministers to focus on two major issues, namely the narrowing of the gap between housing demand and supply, and the decarbonisation of heating and electrification of homes with sustainable means.  We need to see policy and real action to build homes, eliminate carbon in our housing stock and create prosperity.”

On new housing, the BMF wants to see unrelenting political determination behind concerted action to simplify and speed up planning approvals for un-controversial applications to increase housing completions. The whole thrust must be implementation, enabling BMF members to invest confidently in the people and materials and products needed.  In addition, the BMF requested early clarification on what the future holds for the Help To Buy Scheme.

John Newcomb also urged the new Government to talk to the BMF with regard to decarbonising homes, saying: “BMF members have a key role to play as they make and deliver the majority of materials and products used to provide low carbon solutions for today’s housing.  The BMF strongly supports the “Fabric First” concept with a coherent, long-term framework that combines better insulation, efficient boilers and low-carbon, micro-generation on the road to net zero carbon emissions.”

Reducing VAT from 20 percent to 5 percent on home improvement works is central to this aim and the BMF, along with others in construction, has already written to Mr. Johnson to outline the economic, environmental and social benefits from improving existing properties with a lower VAT rate.

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