While the polls have suggested that no party will form a majority government, there’s the little matter of the composition of any coalition government or if one of the two main parties will attempt to go it alone with a minority government.
The outcome of the election will have a huge impact on the UK and its economy, and the construction industry will certainly be affected by the result. We’ve trawled the manifestos of the main parties to pick out the pledges that could affect your construction company.
The Conservative party
The Conservative manifesto is centered on developing a strong and secure economy in which businesses can flourish. The manifesto mentions the continuation of coalition policies such as funding for lending (where banks can borrow money cheaply from the government if they lend to businesses) and the British Business Bank (which helps SMEs to access finance). The Conservatives would also press forward with ‘Help to Grow’, a scheme where the government guarantees loans by private lenders or co-invests public money.
Elsewhere, the manifesto pledges that investment in infrastructure will be shared across the regions, specifically in the north, the Midlands and the south-west. Investment in road and rail are key parts of the manifesto.
Additionally, the Tory manifesto pledges more apprenticeships and the abolishment of employer NICs for apprentices aged under 25. Business rates will be reviewed by the end of 2015. An extra £10 billion of cuts to red tape will be found and made over the next parliament. The Conservatives are also pledging to strengthen the prompt payment code and make sure that all government suppliers sign up. The target for the SME share of central government procurement will be increased to a third.
The Labour party
The front cover of Labour’s manifesto reads: ‘Britain can only succeed when working people succeed.’ There’s less of a business focus here than in the Tory manifesto, but there’s still plenty of pledges that could affect your construction company.
Labour want to build a long term investment culture in both the private sector and the public sector, and will set up a National Infrastructure Commission to assess how to meet the nation’s long term infrastructure needs. Labour would also set up the Small Business Administration which would assist SMEs with procurement contracts and ensure that regulations are assembled with SMEs in mind. Late payment is another top business issue in Labour’s manifesto – they would strengthen late payment rules to help SMEs. The party would also cut and then freeze business rates for over 1.5 million small business properties.
The Labour party want 200,000 homes built a year by 2020. Councils will gain ‘use it or lose it’ powers to encourage developers to build on land that they own, reducing the amount of speculation in the land market. Additionally, investment in energy efficiency in homes will come in the form of 1 million interest free loans for energy efficient home improvements. Privately rented properties will have to meet a new energy efficiency standard – three million properties will need upgrades.
Of course, there are plenty of other parties who will have an impact on the next parliament. In part two of this series, we’ll look at the key points in the manifestos of UKIP, the Greens, the Liberal Democrats and the SNP and how they could have an impact on your construction company. Stay tuned to the Integrity Software blog for part two.