14 March 2019

Spring Budget 2019

The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, set out his Spring Budget on 13 March. The budget featured positive support for construction and infrastructure, with a number of announcements building on the Industrial Strategy. The Chancellor also confirmed that the government will hold a Spending Review which will conclude alongside the Budget which will set budgets for resource spending, if an EU exit deal is agreed.

The following announcements will specifically affect the construction sector:

Clean Economy

The government intends to accelerate the shift to a clean economy, building on the Industrial Strategy, Clean Growth Strategy, and 25 Year Environment Plan.

SMEs are encouraged to respond to the call for evidence on a Business energy efficiency scheme to explore how Government can support investment in energy efficiency measures.

To ensure wildlife isn’t compromised in delivering infrastructure and housing, the government will mandate net gains for biodiversity on new developments in England to deliver an overall increase in biodiversity.

The government will introduce a Future Homes Standard by 2025, so that new build homes have low carbon heating and are energy efficiency, keeping consumers’ energy bills low.

Investing in the Future – Housing and Infrastructure

At Autumn Budget 2017, the government set out new policies to raise housing supply and the Spring Statement supports this. Government:

  • launched a consultation on Infrastructure Finance, seeking views on how it can support private infrastructure investment in the context of the UK’s changing relationship with the European Investment Bank
  • reiterated its commitment to publish the National Infrastructure Strategy which will set out its priorities for economic infrastructure and respond to recommendations in the National Infrastructure Commission’s National Infrastructure Assessment
  • dedicate £717 million from the £5.5 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund to unlock up to 37,000 homes at sites including Old Oak Common in London, the Oxford-Cambridge Arc and Cheshire
  • will guarantee up to £3 billion of borrowing by housing associations in England to support delivery of around 30,000 affordable homes.

Education and Skills

The Chancellor announced support for employers to continue to train the workforce of tomorrow. This included:

  • From 1 April, employers who co-invest in Apprenticeships will see the rate they pay cut by a half from 10% to 5%
  • From 1 April, Levy-paying employers will be able to transfer 25% of Levy funds across their supply chains, up from 10%.

review of the latest international evidence on the impact of minimum wages, to inform future National Living Wage policy after 2020.

The full statement is available on the Government website.