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UK budget offers some relief to construction industry

World Cement,

Yesterday, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the UK budget. Included in the budget was a £3 billion spend on infrastructure, which the government hopes will boost the economy.

Speaking after the announcement, Dr Diana Montgomery, the Chief Executive of the Construction Products Association, said: “We particularly note four proposals that the industry will find practical and immediately beneficial; first, the exemption next year of the ceramics, cement, steel, minerals and glass sectors from the Climate Change Levy; second, a new Employment Allowance which will largely help our SME manufacturing base; third, an increase to 10% in the rate of the above-the-line R&D credit together with a 10% tax on profits from patents; and lastly, a cut to the corporate tax rate ensuring the UK will enjoy the most competitive tax regime of any major economy in the world.”

The Mineral Products Association also weighed in, commenting on the exemption from the Climate Change Levy: “This is welcome news to the cement and lime industries who have been struggling under the weight of a cumulative cost burden of regulation and environmental taxes.” The exemption is yet to be finalised, but the MPA will be working with the Treasury to secure the interests of the cement and lime industry before the completion of draft legislation in time for the Finance Bill 2014.

Also included in the budget was a ‘Help to Buy’ scheme whereby the government will offer various loans and grants that will enable people to get a bigger mortgage for a smaller deposit, which should boost the housing market.

Dr Montgomery said, “We are encouraged that Government has combined these plans with a catalyst for potential home buyers in the form of the new “Help to Buy” programme, which could be a game-changer.  Nevertheless, last year we built only half of the number of homes we need, and the downward revision in economic growth only reinforces the need for these measures to boost construction and the economy.”

Edited from various sources by Katherine Guenioui.

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