In the first half of our analysis of the party manifestos, we dissected the key points in the Conservative and Labour manifestos – specifically those that will affect the construction industry.
However, the two most likely outcomes of the election are a coalition government or a minority government. The Liberal Democrats, the SNP, the Greens, UKIP and other parties may potentially have a big say in the makeup of the next government, or prevent legislation from passing in the House of Commons under a minority Labour or Tory government. While infrastructure and housing are unlikely to be sticking points in coalition negotiations, these parties can still influence legislation – and whether it comes into force. Here we discuss the challenging party pledges that could have the biggest impact on your construction company.
The Liberal Democrats take a rather greener approach to construction and infrastructure than the two main parties.
- Investment in rail. The Lib Dems would forge ahead with HS2, electrify more lines, and restore twin track lines in areas of high demand and poor capacity. They would also plan for a new ‘garden cities’ railway between Oxford and Cambridge.
- Garden cities. While we’re on that subject, the Lib Dems would meet a 300k house building target partly through the development of at least ten new garden cities. They would also incentivise the development of unwanted public sector sites.
- Energy efficiency. The Lib Dems would implement the Green Buildings Act, which would provide many incentives and schemes to encourage energy efficiency in our buildings, such as council tax discounts for efficiency improvements, interest free loans for energy efficiency, and ‘insulation on prescription’.
While infrastructure isn’t likely to be the SNP’s highest priority in coalition negotiations, some housing pledges were made.
- Affordable housing. The SNP’s approach to the housing crisis is a pledge for 100,000 affordable homes per year.
- The north. The SNP wishes to redistribute government funds so that northern England and Scotland see more infrastructure investment.
As expected, UKIP’s manifesto is focused on immigration and the benefits of leaving the EU. However, housing, infrastructure and small business are all mentioned.
- Brownfield development. UKIP would compile a brownfield sites register and provide grants for essential remediation work and indemnity insurance (for developers of decontaminated land). Properties built on registered brownfield sites would be exempt from stamp duty on their first sale, up to £250k.
- Business rates. UKIP would expand the current business rate relief for small businesses, applying the 20% rate relief to sole commercial premises worth up to £50k (or if the total rateable value of all business properties is lower than £50k).
- Late payment. SMEs can send evidence of repeated late payment to HMRC for a potential investigation while remaining anonymous. There would be fines for persistent late paying businesses.
The Green Party
The Greens might only get one or two MPs into the Commons for the next parliament, but they could still have some policy influence.
- Social housing. One of the Greens’ main pledges is to provide half a million social rented homes over the course of the parliament.
- Energy efficiency. The Greens want to provide a free retrofit insulation programme across the country. All new homes would be built to the Passivhaus standard of energy efficiency.
Whatever the outcome of the election, you can help your construction company to thrive during uncertain times with the help of construction accounting software. Keep track of your cash flow, make use of cost value reconciliation functions and automate many tedious paperwork processes. Get in touch with the Integrity Software team to find out more.