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Construction was struggling even before the coronavirus effects took hold

New construction figures published by the ONS show a fall in output, which decreased by 1.7% in February – the largest fall in monthly growth since October 2019.

New housing was 7.7% down on the previous month, the second largest monthly fall since 2010. Private housing repair and maintenance showed a 5.6% fall in the three months to February 2020, the largest fall in this series since October 2012.
empty building site web
Brian Berry, chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders, said: “Repair and maintenance plummeted during a wet winter, and builders have not had the opportunity to revive workloads due to the coronavirus lockdown. They have been suffering due to conditions outside of their control, and further Government help is needed to get this important sector through the crisis.

“The Government must ramp up its support for builders by allowing Directors of small Limited companies to use their dividend payments in their Job Retention Scheme claims. A cash grant mechanism to get builders through this tough time should also be developed, and all financial schemes must come on line as soon as possible.”

 

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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