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Construction Industry

Volume 531: debated on Thursday 14 July 2011

For three years now, construction has faced very tough times after one of the sharpest recessions ever, but there are encouraging signs. Output in May rose by 0.4%, with increases in new work for most of the construction subsectors. We have published the national infrastructure plan, for the first time in this country, with £200 billion of investment over the next five years.

The purchasing managers index for construction shows that in June employment in the UK construction industry fell at its fastest rate since January’s VAT rise, and cuts in social housing investment, particularly in areas such as mine in Hull, are not helping. Would not a temporary VAT cut help to protect these skilled construction jobs at this difficult time?

I am fascinated to see this re-presented to the House. As I recall, when the opportunity came for Labour Members to vote on it, they ducked it—they abstained. It is a shame that they do not have the courage of their convictions.