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General election 2019: What are the main parties promising construction?

25 Nov 2019

General election 2019: What are the main parties promising construction?

As the UK readies itself for its third general election since 2015 the major parties are all laying out their plans for the country’s future should they be elected.

With housing, infrastructure and sustainability, as well as education and health capital spend, all likely to figure highly in the 12 December ballot is set to be pivotal for construction.

Take a look at how the race for the 2019 general election is shaping up for construction.

What are the Conservatives promising?

With the Tories the only party yet to publish their manifesto the information is still limited (it is expected to be unveiled by the end of next week). But here are some tidbits that have dropped early.

Housing policy

  • The Conservatives will offer tenants in new housing association properties the right to shared ownership of their home.

Infrastructure policy

  • The Conservatives intend to invest £100bn over five years on road, rail and other infrastructure.
  • A new Conservative government would provide an additional £500m into EV charging infrastructure and new electric vehicles, ensuring there was a chargepoint within 30 miles of each home in England and Wales.

Sustainability policy

  • The Conservatives have stated initiatives towards a net zero target on carbon emissions.

Other public spending that will impact construction

  • The Conservative party plans to invest £2.7bn for six new hospitals and has plans for 34 more.

What is Labour promising?

Housing policy

  • The Labour party has promised a £75bn “housing revolution”, along with what it promises will be “the biggest council housebuilding programme in decades”. As part of its manifesto, unveiled on 21 November, Labour said if it wins the general election on it will commit to building 100,000 council homes a year through to the end of the next Parliament.
  • Labour aims to introduce a £1bn Fire Safety Fund to fit sprinklers and other fire safety measures in all high-rise council and housing association tower blocks, enforce the replacement of dangerous Grenfell-style cladding on all high-rise homes and buildings.
  • It will also introduce mandatory building standards and guidance, inspected and enforced by fully trained Fire and Rescue Service fire safety officers.
  • It also promises to partner with housing associations and deliver 50,000 “genuinely affordable” social homes annually over the same period.

Infrastructure policy

  • It will introduce a long-term investment plan that includes delivering Northern Powerhouse Rail and completing the full HS2 route to Scotland.
  • The party has promised £250bn of lending for enterprise, infrastructure and innovation over 10 years.

Sustainability policy

  • It aims to deliver nearly 90% of electricity and 50% of heat from renewable and low-carbon sources by 2030.The plan is to build 9,000 new wind turbines (both on-shore and off-shore),enough solar panels to cover 22,000 football pitches, as well as new nuclear power needed for energy security.
  • Labour will trial and expand tidal energy and invest to reduce the costs of renewable and low-carbon hydrogen production.
  • They will also introduce a zero-carbon homes standard for all new homes and upgrade almost all of the UK’s homes to the highest energy-efficiency standards, reducing the average household energy bill by £417 per household per year by 2030 and eliminating fuel poverty.
  • Labour wants to change the criteria on the London Stock Exchange so that any company that fails to contribute to tackling the climate and environmental emergency is delisted.
  • In addition, the party will launch a Climate Apprenticeship programme to enable employers to develop the skills needed to lead the world in clean technolog, and employers will be expected to allocate 25% of the funds in their Apprenticeship Levy accounts to training Climate Apprentices.

What are the Liberal Democrats promising?

Housing policy

  • The Liberal Democrat party has promised new direct spending on housebuilding to help build 300,000 homes a year by 2024, including 100,000 social homes.
  • A Lib Dem administration would establish a new “Rent to Own” scheme for social housing where rent payments gave tenants an increasing stake in the property, allowing them to own it outright after 30 years.
  • The party is also proposing a “Help to Rent” scheme to provide government-backed tenancy deposit loans for all first-time renters under 30.
  • Other housing pledges included allowing local authorities to increase council tax by up to 500% where properties are bought as second homes, and placing a stamp duty surcharge on overseas residents purchasing such properties.

Infrastructure policy

  • The party has promised to introduce a capital £50bn Regional Rebalancing Programme for infrastructure spend across the nations and regions of the UK, with local and devolved authorities given a say in how it is use. More broadly, the party has promised a £130bn package of infrastructure investment.
  • The party has committed to press ahead with the delivery of HS2, Crossrail 2 and other major new strategic rail routes.
  • But it has said it will not proceed with the expansion of Heathrow or any other airport expansion in the South-east.

Sustainability policy

  • As part of its carbon-reduction and energy-efficiency drive, the party said it would require all new homes and non-domestic buildings to be built to a zero-carbon standard by 2021, “rising to a more ambitious Passivhaus standard by 2025”.
  • The party also has plans for an emergency 10-year programme to reduce energy consumption from all the UK’s buildings, cutting emissions and fuel bills and ending fuel poverty.

Other public spending that will impact construction

  • The party has pledged capital investment in schools and hospitals to support capacity increases and modernisation.

Article & image source: Buildings

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