Gleeds Chairman comments on 2015 Spending Review and Autumn Statement
“The tax credit reversal and other headline grabbers - like the pothole fund - seemed designed to project the new “nice guy” image of George Osbourne, as he further shored up his future leadership bid with this statement which seemed to come more from “George the Builder” than “Bob the Builder”.
“We are the builders” he claimed and announced the £12bn in infrastructure spending that had been well leaked before the speech, but is welcome nevertheless. Increased investment in prisons, roads and schools is good news. Especially as the new figure of £23bn on school building over the course of the parliament is £2bn more than previously announced in 2013.
Indeed his promise to deliver 400,000 affordable homes to rent and buy should be welcomed if it is achievable and pushes house builder stocks ever higher. Although it must be said a stretched industry will struggle to find the talent to build in such numbers.
On the other side the penal stamp duty rise on the buy-to-let market will not be welcomed by property professionals or contractors, and his decision to exclude corporate investors seems to fly in the face of previous announcements.
Also, for those working in energy it has to be said the “reform” of the Renewable Heat Incentive to save £700m, and a replacement for ECO - a new scheme that will save £300 off the bills of energy customers - does not sound promising.”
Richard Steer, Chairman of Gleeds Worldwide.