BMF Responds to Chancellor’s Budget Statement
27 October 2021
The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) expressed its disappointment that the Chancellor’s speech did not include financial support needed to kick start the upgrade and decarbonisation of the UK’s housing stock.
However, the BMF welcomed today’s announcement of more investment in further education, which will help promote a low-carbon skills revolution.
BMF CEO John Newcomb said:
“With the UNCOP26 Climate Conference less than a week away, we believe a National Retrofit Strategy is the best way to tackle an urgent national infrastructure priority - namely to improve the energy and thermal performance of homes - especially with rising gas prices adding to pressure on household bills.
“The BMF and others involved in property RMI put together the Construction Leadership Council’s 20-year fully-costed plan to improve existing homes; an investment of £5.3 billion over the next 4 years to tackle emissions.
“Today’s news means international visitors arriving in Glasgow will see a missed opportunity to decarbonise by doing something simple - upgrading homes properly”.
Welcoming Government support for further education as part of a low-carbon skills revolution, John Newcomb also called for reform of the Apprenticeship Levy, saying:
““The BMF is a strong believer in the parity of esteem between academic education and vocational training - so today’s announcement of more investment in further education, with employers and local colleges at the fore-front of the Chancellor’s Skills Revolution, is very welcome.
“Apprenticeships are the established way into most crafts & trades we need now, and in future. But the Apprenticeship Levy is not working as it should and must be reformed to offer employers and learners a better experience. With numbers falling, significant sums of employer contributions remain unspent and are going straight to the Treasury.
“To match the scale and extent of the net zero challenge, all available funds should be redirected to boost apprenticeships that equip workers with the necessary technical or occupational skills - and the interpersonal skills to reassure homeowners and explain the carbon choices they can make.”