The UK Construction Products Association (CPA) has called on the Chancellor to recognise the potential construction and product manufacturing has to drive short-term growth and enable long-term prosperity for the UK. In a statement, the CPA said it is vital government spend the GBP4.69bn capital investment boost announced in the 2011 Autumn Statement and the additional GBP5.5bn announced in December. Together these investments would provide at least an additional 0.8 per cent growth in GDP if delivered.
Commenting, Chief Executive of the Construction Products Association, Diana Montgomery said: "We support the government’s need to address the UK’s mounting debt and growth is essential in tackling this. The latest ONS figures highlight that construction output fell 8.4 per cent during 2012 and is forecast to fall a further 2.2 per cent this year. With the general economic outlook continuing to look uncertain, we are urging government to do more to drive growth by building on the recent increase in capital investment for repair and maintenance of roads and extending this to other parts of built environment, such as housing, schools and hospitals.
"We also want to see the UK improve on its current ranking of 24th in the world for the quality of its infrastructure. For the UK economy to remain internationally competitive in attracting inward investment, it is essential that there are significant improvements in its infrastructure.
Montgomery concluded: "Government frequently states it is aware of the importance of the construction industry and its product manufacturers and suppliers. In these challenging times for the UK economy, the opportunities that we provide to drive economic growth and build a more sustainable future for the UK need to be prioritised. We can only hope the Chancellor does indeed recognise this."