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Infrastructure and house building feature in Government plans

19th December 2019

Plans for the Government’s legislative programme have been revealed in the Queen’s speech at the opening of Parliament this morning.  The speech has confirmed the Government’s priority is to exit the European Union on 31 January and it outlined plans for infrastructure, housing and immigration.

The Government plan investment in infrastructure, public services, a commitment to support first time buyers, the introduction of a points-based immigration system and an increase in tax credits available to companies via the Research and Development scheme,

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “A skilled construction workforce will be critical to delivering on the Government’s plans for infrastructure and housing set out in today’s Queen’s Speech. Over half of small builders are struggling to recruit a bricklayer or carpenter, yet it could prove very difficult to fill these roles from outside the UK under the proposed points-based immigration system.

“The Government must work with industry to ensure that the new immigration system works for construction, and that the National Skills Fund trains our domestic workforce in the trades that are needed or else the sector will struggle to deliver.”

Hew Edgar, RICS Head of UK Government Relations and City Strategy said: “There are some welcome indicators of Governments intent for the built and natural environments, including the announcements of investment in infrastructure, bolstering house buying activity, bringing changes to business rates, and tackle climate change; all of which echo and align with RICS’ own priorities.

“Ultimately, however, the devil will be in the detail. With a parliamentary majority of this magnitude comes increased likelihood of Government Bills passing and, therefore, great responsibility. It is imperative that the Government gets the detail right; and considers the social and environmental impact of all its activity”

Director or RIFT Research and Development Ltd, Sarah Collins, commented: “We are delighted to hear Her Majesty specifically mention R&D Tax Credits in her speech this morning and that our new Government has committed to increasing R&D tax credits to help innovative businesses thrive.”