Delivering Jobs and Growth

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Time has come for Government to adopt Plan B growth plan

27/01/2011
Time has come for Government to adopt Plan B growth plan

The Get Britain Building campaign has urged Government to adopt a back-up plan to stimulate growth and job creation.

The coalition of industry bodies launched a Plan B growth strategy to stimulate economic activity late last year as the economic recovery showed signs that it would falter.

Backers of the campaign have called on the Coalition Government urgently to take on board the Plan B growth plan after national output fell by 0.5% in the final three months of last year.

A key factor behind the decline was a sharp fall in construction output of 3.3%. This underlined the pivotal role the built environment plays in driving growth in the wider economy.

Mike Leonard, Director of the Modern Masonry Alliance, said: We urge our political leaders to take action now to stimulate the construction and house building industry where 92p in every £1 spent stays in the UK.

"This is the way to protect manufacturing capacity and construction skills and get Britain back to work."

Industry campaigners fear the new GDP figures point to the UK being plunged into a double dip recession.

Analysts warned the surprise decline in national GDP - the first since the third quarter of 2009 - seriously damaged prospects for the economy as it takes the strain of the Government's sharp austerity measures.

Confidence has been shaken in the ability of the private sector to pick up the expected slack in the economy and hold off a double-dip recession - defined as two consecutive quarters of economic contraction.

Jonathan Loynes, chief European economist at Capital Economics, said: "Although heavily affected by the weather, the UK's shockingly bad fourth quarter GDP figures raise serious concerns over whether the economy is in a strong enough position to withstand the fiscal tightening."

This would torpedo Chancellor George Osborne's plans and threaten a dangerous downward spiral that would make it even more difficult to clear the huge deficit.

"Steep rises in unemployment will be one of the main consequences of the Coalition's spending plans and it is for this reason that we believe that Get Britain Building's  Plan B is vital for maintaining and creating real jobs," said Leonard.

The Get Britain Building campaign is backed by British Precast, the Builder's Merchants Federation, Federation of Master Builders and Modern Masonry Alliance and voices the concerns of thousands of firms up and down the country.

The Plan B document argues that targeted investment in building is the best and fastest route to maintain and create 2.5m real jobs and deliver big payback for Britain.

Furthermore, each pound invested in construction provides 56p return to the Exchequer and retains 92p within the UK.