Civils contractors have today called on the UK Government to act now to unleash growth in infrastructure and allow the sector to become the primary driver of increased living standards for communities across Great Britain.
Results from the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA)’s Workload Trends Survey for 2023 Q2 showed that UK construction continues to act as a bedrock of the post-COVID UK economy, following eleven continuous quarters of growth since Q3 2020.
At the same time, key sectors, such as preliminary works for housing or the UK roads sector – which has shown declining workloads for a full calendar year – continue to report anaemic or negative growth, undermining the ability of the sector as a whole to boost the economy for the benefit of businesses and communities across the UK.
Commenting, Chief Executive of the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) Alasdair Reisner said: “Sadly the current UK Government’s approach to infrastructure is typified in its recent decision to postpone the full delivery of HS2 to meet its arbitrary fiscal rules, rather than backing that project to meet its full potential in creating much-needed jobs and growth.
“It is concerning that this approach – which prioritises short-term cost-cutting at the expense of future transformational economic activity – seems to be prevalent in Whitehall’s attitude towards all sectors of construction and infrastructure.
“It is not an understatement to say that our sector held the economy together during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, arguably the greatest peacetime crisis faced by any UK Government.
“And yet now that the economy is continuing to languish amidst weak growth, the UK Government is failing to back the infrastructure sector to turn this situation around.
“We call on the UK Government to work with industry to identify a clear plan to unblock growth in all sectors of UK infrastructure, rather than give in to the dither and delay that is currently holding UK plc back.
“We owe it to the businesses and communities we work in to make sure that UK construction and infrastructure can rise to the challenge of creating the prosperous post-COVID economy that we all want to see, rather than becoming the sick man of Europe once again.”
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