The government went into great detail in terms of what it hoped to achieve for housing across the UK in the Autumn Statement so I’m not too surprised that it wasn’t covered in the Budget on Wednesday. What was discussed, however, is how crucial it is to readdress how businesses are being taxed and what more can be done to help them run smoother.
More investment into fibre optic technology was announced – something we’re particularly excited about here in Lincolnshire as internet speed is something businesses based in rural areas still struggle with. In order to be a major global player – a phrase used repeatedly on Wednesday – we need to have the technology to cope with the competition.
Education was something discussed at length as the skills shortage still needs to be addressed if productivity levels are to improve – with the country lagging behind neighbouring Germany by 35% in productivity growth. We’re seeing this issue locally, with house builders often struggling to get the best people to keep up with the demand for new homes across Lincolnshire.
The government has put ‘addressing the UK’s productivity challenge at the heart of its economic plan’ and has invested more into higher education in a bid to close the skills gap. The more vocational T-Levels could have the potential to link students with jobs, leading to a better understanding between employers and the education sector which we hope will help, particularly in our industry.
We’re also looking forward to hearing the Midlands Engine strategy being published tomorrow. As we prepare for MIPIM, this is exciting news and it’s a great time for the region to be promoting everything we have to offer for, not only national, but also global investors.
Phillip Hammond himself said ‘the question that concerns so many people is: will our children enjoy the same opportunities that we did?…Will they get on the housing ladder and be able to save for a pension?’. The government obviously realises that the housing crisis is something that affects everyone and we need to act now to alleviate this.