Calls for tax breaks to boost construction

Construction industry professionals have called for tax breaks to stimulate building across the UK after research found that industry figures fell from booming to record low levels in June.

According to professional services firm Arcadis, the Government should take “drastic action” to tackle the ‘flat-lining’ demand for construction, especially as the country faces Brexit uncertainty and wider global economic slowdown.

According to a spokesman for the firm, a no-deal Brexit would trigger a fall in asset prices and could affect Government spending plans and approvals for major schemes. However, tax incentives could be used to counter these issues.

He went on to say that delays to Brexit and the increasing likelihood of a UK election continue to shift the attention away from the long-term horizon – namely that the UK construction market is hanging on a cliff-edge.

However, the firm believes that the Government could take several steps to avoid the fall, from universal tax incentives such as the lowering of VAT, or incentives for capital investment, to the creation of economic zones or a revision of the fiscal framework.

Arcadis is not the only professional services firm to make recommendations designed to revive the sector. Earlier this year, Mace claimed that Brexit presents the UK with a unique opportunity to utilise so-called ‘Modern Methods of Construction’, which include off-site manufacturing and advanced digital design, to make the UK construction scene a key exporter in the coming years.

Moreover, McKinsey and Company suggested that capitalising on modular building techniques could offer the sector possible savings of up to 20 per cent while significantly reducing construction time by up to 50 per cent.

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