Budget 2013: Building the UK out of recession
The 2013 budget delivered a mixed bag to our diverse range of clients. Whilst house builders are rejoicing in light of the Chancellor's speech, renewable energy developers will be disappointed to hear they have been overlooked in favour of shale gas.
With an extra £225 million for affordable housing, a new ‘Help to Buy’ project and an additional £800 million for the existing ‘Build to Rent’ scheme, George Osbourne has finally addressed the shortfall in available housing in the UK.
This financial boost, coupled with the recent changes to planning law, should in turn create a notable increase of jobs in the construction sector and have an added knock-on effect to the wider economy.
The benefits of these proposals are already visible from this morning's markets with shares in Barratt Homes and Taylor Wimpey up 6%.
Our renewable energy clients may however be slightly more sceptical of yesterday’s budget with George Osbourne first exclaiming that the shift to a low carbon economy “should be done in a way that creates jobs rather than costing them” but then going on to segregate fracking as his energy source of choice adding: “Shale gas is part of the future. And we will make it happen.”
Renewable energy technologies such as wind, solar, tidal and hydro did not receive a single mention in yesterday's statement, despite contributing to nearly one third of economic growth in recent years – a serious blow to those who believe the green economy could pull the UK out of recession.
Fortunately, it’s not all doom and gloom for the environment with the Chancellor promising to take forward two new carbon capture and storage plants, taking up to 90% of carbon emissions from burning coal and biomass for storage beneath the North Sea.
No doubt there will be a strong reaction to the budget over the coming days from both sides of the spectrum, there's certainly been divided opinions in the Consense office!
One thing’s for sure, we look forward to seeing how the planning process evolves in light of yesterday's announcements and how we as a company can support the range of applications proposed by our varied range of clients.