Beyond Brexit?

Glass Times editor Nathan Bushell wonders if the election will address some of the other issues concerning the construction and home improvement industries.

So, the general election campaign is in full swing, and the fear is that it will all be about Brexit, and other domestic issues – such as the construction industry – will be sidelined.
It’s too early to say. However, even though the manifestos have yet to be published, we are getting a glimpse of what some of the main parties want to discuss.

For instance, Labour would introduce tough new standards forcing housebuilders to make new properties zero carbon within three years.

We know this is a divisive issue between the two main parties because the last Labour government introduced regulations to make all homes zero carbon by 2016, but the rules were scrapped by David Cameron less than a year before they were due to come into force.

This obviously ties in with the wider issue of sustainability and climate change, which is important for many voters.

The outgoing chancellor, Sajid Javid, has already commented on the issue: “The UK is leading the way on tackling climate change as the first major economy to legislate for net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. We must all play a part in protecting the planet for future generations.

“This review is a vital next step in delivering that commitment, ensuring that we can end our contribution to global warming, while supporting growth and balancing costs, to avoid placing unfair burdens on families or businesses.”

However, despite a yearning for non-European-related discussions, our sector – and the wider construction industry – needs some sort of Brexit closure.

In response to the latest market report chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders Brian Berry said: “We know that many homeowners are holding off undertaking home improvement works due to Brexit uncertainty and this is having a knock-on effect of builders’ workloads.

It’s going to be a long six weeks.