Posted on 16/04/2015 by Dave Irons
With a general election just a few weeks away, what are the prospects for jobs in tool hire? One of the key issues at stake is the construction and renovation of housing.
The Federation of Master Builders has been looking at the different parties' pledges on property building and renovation, and Labour and the Greens are both worth recognizing.
Labour - clearly still the Conservatives' main opposition - published their Manifesto this week, and it represents a step forward from their 2010 pledges.
"The Labour Party's 2010 manifesto placed a clear emphasis on the importance of increasing home ownership and providing better, more affordable housing," explains FMB chief executive Brian Berry.
But he adds: "This manifesto explicitly recognizes that building more homes is the only route to achieving this - we also have a clear target of building 200,000 new homes a year by 2020."
Meanwhile, the Greens have made a commitment to cutting the rate of VAT on renovations from 20% to the lowest legal level of 5%.
According to research by independent analysts at Experian, this would create 42,000 full-time construction roles in the latter half of this decade.
Some 53,000 more positions would be made in the wider economy - a clear sign of an increase in jobs in tool hire and similar disciplines.
The FMB says the cost to VAT receipts would be £6.6 billion in 2015-2020, but the total economic stimulus would be worth £15 billion, and many homes would be made more environmentally friendly.