BMF meets Scottish government to share housing outlook

Merchants have nothing to fear from an independent Scotland, according to the Scottish National Party.

BMF meets Scottish government to share housing outlook

In fact, merchants ought to look forward to better times ahead as an independent nation will determine its own future in relation to housebuilding and home improvement.

That was the message brought back from the SNP Government by the Builders Merchants’ Federation, who heard direct from Margaret Burgess MSP, the Minister for Housing & Welfare, how her party intends to have more homes built to ease the demand for housing.

Burgess met John Newcomb, BMF managing director, Graham Bolton, BMF regional manager and Brett Amphlett, BMF policy manager, to explain the Scottish Government’s current objectives and cover some specific policies.

SNP ministers pledged to deliver 30,000 affordable homes over the lifetime of this Parliament – including 20,000 social homes – of which at least 5,000 will be council homes. Government guarantees to support housing investment will also be made via both the National Housing Trust initiative and the New Home Mortgage Indemnity Scheme.

The Scottish Government wants to:

  • bolster the Home Energy Efficiency Programmes for Scotland – Margaret Burgess allocated a further £9m for HEEPS to the £46 million already distributed to each local authority

  • introduce a new energy-efficiency standard for social housing with an expectation that landlords will meet this standard by year 2020.

    Burgess said: “I was pleased to meet the representatives of the Builders Merchants Federation and hear about the services they provide to their members”.

    “It was also useful to discuss aspects of the Scottish Government’s housing programme including our pledge to deliver more affordable homes during this Parliament – and our measures to boost home energy efficiency. I also welcomed the opportunity to explain how Scottish independence will provide further impetus to the construction sector in Scotland with the consequence of more work for BMF members”.

    Newcomb said: “I was pleased to talk through some of the issues faced by merchants with Margaret. We came to gain insight into SNP thinking and brief her on our industry’s outlook. It was time well spent”.

    During the week, BMF representatives also attended the SNP Party Conference to meet MPs and MSPs before going on to Inverness-shire and Aberdeenshire to visit Federation members.

  • About Fiona Russell-Horne

    Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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