The biggest building industry coalition ever met at Westminster today to kick-start the Get Britain Building campaign.
Get Britain Building is the brainchild of the Builders Merchants Federation, the Modern Masonry Alliance, British Precast and the Federation of Master Builders. It demands the government does everything possible to prevent the predicted loss of 300,000 jobs in construction.
The four organisations are supported in the campaign by around 30 other trade organisations. They are all demanding that government support the campaign’s Ten Point Manifesto to get the country building again.
Get Britain Building’s Ten Point Manifesto includes calls to ensure responsible lending to prudent borrowers, a cut in VAT to 5% for all building and maintenance work as well as a coherent strategy for improving the UK’s existing housing stock and simplifying the planning system.
The campaign also calls for reform of the stamp duty system so that higher levels only apply to the proportion of the house price which is in the relevant band.
“All merchants have the opportunity to take a stand and be proactively involved in the campaign,” says BMF managing director Chris Pateman. “We need to take pride in who we are and if everyone plays their part, together we are massive. The BMF and our fellow organisations have taken the initiative on behalf of the whole industry. But it is really up to individuals to make this work, we need merchants to step up to the plate and take action. It is these actions that anyone can do which will make a real difference to the campaign’s success.”
Merchants can get behind the campaign by utilizing the marketing materials which will be coming through: there are car stickers, posters, banners, a letter template for sending to MPs, and a home improvement brochure for sending to non-trade customers.
Merchants can also lobby their suppliers and customers to support and market the campaign by signing up to the online petition at www.getbritainbuilding.org
A DVD shown at the launch of the campaign is fronted by TV presenter Naomi Cleaver.
Support for the campaign is cross-party; attending the campaign launch were John Speller MP, the assistant chief whip, opposition MP Mark Prisk and Lorely Burt MP from the Liberal Democrats.