Chartered surveyors react to the budget

THE Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors says it was pleased to see the Chancellor move to get small businesses building and growing again.

The National Loan Guarantee Scheme, more money for the Get Britain Building Fund and streamlining the planning system were all welcome measures that should combat the growing scepticism in the construction sector and the view that SMEs were being squeezed.

It believes the Chancellor has tried to address improving access to the mortgage market with NewBuy but amidst cracking down on stamp duty avoidance and introducing a new rate of Stamp Duty, he has missed an opportunity to reform the whole stamp duty system rather than just tampering at the edges.

“By replacing the slab structure with a marginal system, he could have ensured that those at the top end of the market contribute fairly as well as helping those struggling to get onto the property ladder,” says a spokesperson..

“London is still the only region where more surveyors are reporting price rises rather than falls reflecting the growing north/south divide.

“Progress on projects in the National Infrastructure Plan, particularly the 40 ‘shovel ready’ projects, needs to take place as quickly as possible to begin to attract the infrastructure and the homes needed to deliver growth across the country.

“Whilst credit-easing and the Get Britain Building Fund will take effect immediately, other initiatives like infrastructure development will take longer to feed through.

“RICS would have liked to have seen a reduction in VAT to five per cent on all home, maintenance and repair work and a reinstatement of empty property rate relief up to £18,000 as immediate measures to generate jobs and growth now.”

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NORTHERN Housing Consortium exectutive director Charlotte Harrison said of the Budget ...

“The NHC’s submission to the Treasury in advance of the Budget echoed the Government’s conviction to rebalance the national economy – not just in terms of sectoral productivity but crucially a rebalancing geographically. We welcome announcements yesterday regarding the funding of a northern transport hub to improve connectivity and boost economic outputs, similarly the creation of four ultrafast broadband cities in the north is to be applauded.

“We are interested in the concept of Enterprise Loans and a connection needs to be made into the work that housing providers already do to support enterprise.”