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After chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng announced the government’s Growth Plan earlier today, Sean Keyes, managing director of Liverpool-based civil and structural engineering firm, Sutcliffe, shared his thoughts on the impact this will have on the construction industry.

The Growth Plan outlines changes to income tax, the lifting of a cap on bankers’ bonuses, and the reversal of a National Insurance increase.  In terms of the construction industry, there were four key announcements that will directly impact this industry.

Initiatives to increase housebuilding

In an attempt to increase the sale of land for housing, the plan outlines a promise to reform the planning system to push for the building of more homes, with another announcement set to be made later this autumn.

Stamp Duty changes

No Stamp Duty will be paid on the first £250,000 of a property, with first-time buyers having that threshold raised from £300,000 to £425,000. These changes are effective immediately.

Investment zones

The Growth Plan also states that more than 40 investment zones across the UK are set to have lower taxes for businesses and benefit from a streamlined planning process. Additionally, there will be no business rates in these areas, no stamp duty on newly occupied business spaces and no national insurance to be paid by a company on the first £50,000 pounds earned by a new hire.

In terms of the North West, the government is working with the following local authorities to establish these investment zones: Blackpool Council, Cheshire West and Chester Council, Cumbria County Council, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Lancashire County Council, and Liverpool City Region.

Infrastructure acceleration

Chancellor Kwarteng also declared that new legislation to cut barriers and restrictions to enable the acceleration of projects focused on roads, rail and energy infrastructure will be announced shortly. The goal is to have construction start on these key infrastructure projects by the end of next year.

Sean Keyes believes that this budget will help us out of a recession.

“I thought it was a good budget for both businesses and individuals, and I think it will help us climb out of this potential recession. In terms of the construction industry, cutting stamp duty will be very good for the sector because it’ll encourage people to move house; this will also kickstart first-time buyers and boost first-time ownership. 

In doing so, this also encourages people to buy new furniture and undertake vital home improvements, thus creating wealth for the economy. Reversing the plan to raise corporation tax also means we can now employ another person next year.”
You can read the full Growth Plan announcement here.

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