BSRIA comments on Tim Farron’s speech at the Liberal Democrat Party Conference
Commenting on Tim Farron’s speech at the Liberal Democrat Party Conference, Julia Evans, Chief Executive, BSRIA, said:
“As Tim Farron works to rebuild his party, it is good to see that he is also looking at fixing the fundamentals for the construction industry. His party’s commitments on affordable housing, supporting the green industries and remaining in the EU are all at the top of industry’s wish lists.
We applaud Mr Farron’s specific comments on housing. Namely: access to affordable housing as the entry ticket to society, to security and stability, to work, health and community. The Liberal Democrats have a target of building 300,000 homes a year and they are prepared to meet it with ‘bold choices’. The party aims to create 10 new garden cities with the infrastructure they need to thrive. They plan to create a housing investment bank to bring in much more cash and give the industry the support and the security it needs. And they will lead the opposition to the forced sell-off of housing association properties.
On the housing issue, BSRIA was pleased to hear Mr Farron say that ‘we have had enough empty rhetoric on housing. We need action now’.
BSRIA was especially encouraged by the party’s commitment to green subsidies. Mr Farron said that the heart of that economy will be green industries: renewable energy, low-carbon transport, green finance – all areas in which Britain is already a world leader. These industries will bring jobs, exports and prosperity and at same time reduce emissions and tackle climate change. He asked ‘what is the government doing’?
He went on to say that 'dismantling at breathtaking speed every policy Liberal Democrat ministers put in place to support green industries. Driven by dogma and an obsession with short-term cuts, they are cutting off at the knees a sector which grew at more than seven per cent a year from 2010 to 2013, compared with less than two per cent for the UK economy as a whole.
He continued: ‘when Al Gore, John Gummer and the boss of the CBI all warn you you’re doing the wrong thing – which is what happened yesterday – the chances are, you’re on the wrong track. This government needs to realise it’s making the wrong move at the wrong time for the wrong reasons’.
Since the general election, BSRIA is getting the impression that energy and carbon reduction issues are being viewed as a burden to government – which is inhibiting – not only the industry – but the economy at large – especially those centering on the ending of and reliance on subsidies for energy saving schemes. We are encouraged that the Liberal Democrats will fight the government every inch of the way. Indeed, BSRIA supports the renewables industry every step of the way.”
On Europe, Farron recognised that there is an important debate to be had about Britain’s future place in Europe: he vowed to fight for the UK to remain in the EU bloc in the forthcoming referendum. Such crusade will give the industry confidence – for future economic prosperity.