James Talman, NFRC CEO, said:
‘The Chancellor has failed to go far enough on measures that support SME construction businesses, including roofing and cladding firms. Whilst the intention to take late payment seriously in the public sector is a welcome step, the government also needs to adopt this attitude to cash retentions, which leave construction SMEs in an impossible position with regards to cashflow.
‘Whilst additional funding for supporting greater numbers of people into apprenticeships is a welcome move, it is not yet clear whether this will exclusively support careers in engineering. We would ask the Chancellor for clarity as to whether the broader construction sector will benefit, in the midst of a severe skills shortage.
‘Finally, we would have hoped to see widespread and meaningful improvement to the Structures and Buildings Allowance, which the Chancellor has still only enhanced within special tax zones in investment zones and freeports.’