Lancashire Times
Voice of the North
11:40 AM 30th June 2020

PM Has Given SME Firms A Fair Cut Of The Cake - MHA MacIntyre Hudson

Brendan Sharkey
Brendan Sharkey
As the Prime Minister announces the acceleration of £5bn of infrastructure spending today, Brendan Sharkey, head of construction and real estate at MHA MacIntyre Hudson says Johnson has struck the right balance between funding major national projects and boosting local infrastructure:

“The Prime Minister’s announcement today might not reach the heights of Roosevelt’s new deal but it still gets one very important thing right: it focuses on smaller local projects like schools, hospitals and high streets that can be delivered quickly. This is exactly what we need to keep work flowing to the sector and to shore up the future of SME construction firms.

“Smaller local projects, in contrast to developments like HS2, benefit SME construction firms more, as they have the resources to handle this size of contract. It’s these firms who need the most help at the moment. In addition, the smaller the project the quicker it can get up and running, helping to revive the sector and prevent a spike in unemployment. Ideally we should have a good split between local projects and the bigger national items to keep work flowing to the larger construction firms as well.

“Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) and VAT reductions should be the sector’s next big ask. Abolishing SDLT for downsizers of over 65 years old would free up housing stock for families and encourage the purchase of new builds for retirees, who have the money but need an incentive to move. Finally, a well implemented VAT reduction would cut costs and boost demand across the industry, enabling the construction sector to recover at this crucial time.”