Construction Speech

(July 01, 2011)

On Tuesday Steve defended the Construction Industry in a Westminster Hall debate. A full transcript of the speech can be found here: 

During the debate, Steve made a passionate defence of the construction industry during a Westminster Hall debate

The former Lord Mayor of Liverpool claims to be the “only Bricky in Parliament,” told Business, Innovation and Skills Minister, Mark Prisk, that “urgent action is needed from this government, to save this industry from the brink of no return.” 

Steve went on to criticise the government’s “at times relentless desire to drive a wedge between the public and private sector.” He continued, “in the construction industry [however], the two are heavily interlinked and mutually co-reliant. If you cut one, the other one bleeds.” 

Later in the speech, the Liverpool Walton MP claimed that the scrapping of the Building Schools for the Future programme was “devastating for construction companies” and that these cuts “make no economical sense whatsoever. I am certain that the Minister is fully aware that every £1 spent on construction leads to an increase in GDP of nearly £3 and stimulates growth elsewhere in the economy worth nearly £2.”

Steve cited a recent Financial Times report, “Research undertaken by the Financial Times reports that construction orders have fallen by 40 percent in the past twelve months and this is even before the government’s programme of the deepest and most unfair cuts in recent history, have even fully taken effect.” 

He was quick to ensure the Minister was not allowed to use the same government line, and attempted to pre-empt Prisk’s response by claiming, “this is more to do with confidence and a lack of it, then it is to do with too much snow.” 

Steve concluded with a suggestion of his own to the Minister, “Perhaps he could look at lowering VAT on home repair, maintenance and improvement works. This could be used as a catalyst to stimulate activity and could actually increase the overall tax take that growth in the sector would generate.”

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