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Theresa May calls for snap election - Construction Industry remains skeptical

Posted on 19/04/2017 by Lee Hiskett

plant hire jobs, tool hire jobs

The PM Theresa May told reporters that game-playing by the opposition to Brexit would continue unless an election was carried out.

Until now General elections had been on a fixed 5 year cycle, put in the by the coalition government led by David Cameron but if a two thirds majority of MP's vote in favour it can go ahead.

Mark Farmer of the Farmer Review, who wrote a report/review of the UK's skills shortage said "Whatever the outcome of this election, the construction skills gap will remain as will the impact of Brexit. In the campaign to come, I hope to see some serious solutions on offer as part of the main parties’ manifestos that adequately reflect the importance of the construction industry’s welfare and future modernisation as part of its contribution to UK plc. We need to also preferably see a reasonable level of cross party consensus on a coherent and comprehensive skills and innovation agenda that is not interrupted by endless political turmoil.”

British Property Federations Chief Exec Melanie Leech was also quick to comment "[the general election] would create some short-term uncertainty at a time when it’s critical to maintain business and investor confidence. It should, however, provide the next government with a clear mandate to negotiate our future relationship with the EU and deliver the UK’s long-term economic health. Real estate is a willing partner for government through this period as it delivers its industrial strategy and we have five key messages: work with us to maintain investor confidence in the UK and to drive growth; provide fair, competitive and stable tax, regulatory and planning systems; invest in infrastructure and free up public sector land; help us to address the skills shortage in our industry; and support more housing supply across all tenures.”

Lewis Johnston, RICS Parliamentary and PA manager comments indicated that be believed the PM's tactical calling for the general election was clear. The Governments working majority is not large enough and is stifling its freedom of action and the PM wants a stronger mandate for the Brexit negotiations. He commented “The real question is how the economy will react to yet another political rollercoaster ride. Since the EU referendum last summer, our market surveys across the residential, commercial and construction sectors show we have largely moved on from initial negative reactions but uncertainty continues to cloud the outlook and weigh on market sentiment. He added the decision did “very little to change that prognosis in the near term, and if anything, we are likely to see continuing deferral of major investment and hiring plans”, he added.

President of RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects), Jane Duncan said “Amidst the challenges of Brexit, we need to also ensure that big domestic issues are not neglected. We need innovative designs and smarter procurement approaches to solving the desperate housing crisis, renewing and expanding our schools and ensuring that we have a sustainable environment that works across the UK"

On a side note regarding the housing crisis, 5 housing associations have been accused of serial neglect of their tenants. Catalyst, Sanctuary, Notting Hill Housing, Wandle, and the One Housing Group who collectively manage 175,000 homes face allegations of damp, mould, non-existent security, outages in heating and hot water, inadequate repairs, and infestation by rats and mice.

The Head of Policy for Shelter is concerned about the falling standards of new builds and that these Housing Associations have become massive developers and have lost focus on existing homes and housing need.

With our leaving the EU it's hoped that we can increase regulation and control on this out of control housing construction boom with a view to providing what people are paying for.

What this means for the plant and tool hire jobs market is anyone’s guess now but a stronger, self-governed country cannot be such a bad start.