A poll has revealed that the construction industry feels left out ahead of the upcoming general election but that despite this the Tory’s are on top.
UK construction week recently conducted a pre-election opinion poll to determine which party the construction industry supports at this stage.
The survey questioned more than 1,000 product manufacturers, contractors, architects, house builders, developers and suppliers from around the industry, asking for their thoughts on policies affecting the construction industry.
Surprisingly the conservatives lead the poll despite 71% of respondents claiming that the needs of the construction industry have been ignored by the key political parties.
When asked which party would be best for the industry if it comes to power, the Conservatives lead the way with 54% of the vote. Labour came second with 30%, while the Green Party (6%) has overtaken the Lib Dems (4%). UKIP have 4% of the vote, with SNP and Plaid Cymru taking the remaining places with 2% each.
The Tory manifesto includes a promise to build 1,000,000 new homes by 2020, including starter and affordable homes. The help to buy scheme is also seen as an important initiative in boosting construction industry growth. You can read about what each party has in store for SME’s here.
Despite the Tory’s lead in the poll, 72% of those asked also said they believed a change in government would have a positive or neutral impact on the construction industry.
The remaining 28% believed it could have a negative impact. It is clear that there is a desire for political change but perhaps fear and distrust is a factor in people’s minds, stopping us from having a clear understanding or trust of the parties in charge.
Respondents were then asked to look at the policies and which ones they felt would be most beneficial to the industry. On the whole house building and skills emerged as the two key themes.
The help to buy scheme is seen as the most important initiative in boosting construction industry growth, leading the way with a massive 67% share of the vote.
The Green Deal and the Energy Company Obligation achieved 9% and 5% of the responses and the RHI (Renewable Heat Incentive) and Feed In Tariff received just 4% of the responses each. It seems that renewables are being left by the wayside once again.
31% believe the government should take more steps to address the skills shortage (something we have looked at in our blog before) and provide better support for apprenticeships. Calls for the planning process to be simplified and a desire for austerity to end were the next priorities for respondents.
It is also clear that there is a strong need for greater public spending on construction projects.
The survey really highlights the fact that the construction industry feels let down by the main political parties, despite being the driving force behind the UK’s economic recovery.
There is a lot of confusion and, like most of the population, a lack of trust in our politician’s ability to deliver on promises.
Richard Morey, group events director at Media 10, the event company producing UK Construction Week, said:
“The results have highlighted that while there are some very clear issues to be addressed – such as house building and skills shortages – it will be down to the construction industry itself to rise to these challenges, without much political support. For these reasons, it is vital that the industry takes charge of its own future and we hope that by providing a platform and space for this at UK Construction Week we will be able to help make this a reality.”