Prime Minister David Cameron recently conceded he needed to “get Britain building again” as he announced the launch of the £1bn New Homes Bonus, in the wake of GDP figures showing a sharp fall in construction.
The Prime Minister adopted the campaign slogan of the ‘Get Britain Building’ movement when he expressed concern about the latest output figures which showed the overall economy grew by just 0.5% during the first quarter of 2011.
Get Britain Building (GBB) is a non-party affiliated pan-construction industry campaign formed to encourage politicians to recognise the value of the sector to the nation and to use it to rebuild the UK economy.
Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions, David Cameron said: “What’s happening in the construction industry is disappointing. “We do need to get Britain building again and that’s why we are introducing the new homes bonus.” He added: “But what is encouraging in the figures is that the British economy is growing once again, manufacturing is up, exports are up and we are seeing a rebalancing of the economy.” The new homes bonus is intended to kickstart local development, but only amounts to just under £1bn for the whole Comprehensive Spending Review period.
The growth rate was held back by a “disastrous performance from construction,” said GBB, which the Office of National Statistics estimated had recorded a dramatic fall of 4.7% over the previous quarter.
Mike Leonard, spokesperson for GBB and director of the Modern Masonry Alliance, said: “We are delighted that the Prime Minister has today announced that we need to ‘Get Britain Building’. The Get Britain Building campaign launched in 2009 has prepared a Plan B, which sets out why investing in construction can create 2.5 million jobs and positive growth in GDP”.
He added: “With five million people on the housing waiting list and building material manufacturing capacity and skills being eroded we call on Mr Cameron to turn his fine words into positive action. Our industry is ready and willing to respond.”