Budget 2013 - CBI calls for housing and infrastructure boost

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has called for George Osborne to use the Budget 2013 to boost house building and prioritise infrastructure projects across the UK. Following on from the Federation of Small Business’ (FSB) requests last week, the CBI has recommended a £1.25bn investment into housing and infrastructure. This would mean pressing ahead with an extensive roads repair, maintenance and improvement programme as well as adding 50,000 affordable homes to the housing stock. Such an investment would help to alleviate pressure on the UK’s construction industry, which accounts for approximately 7% of GDP. Output in this sector dropped notably by 7.9% in January as confidence dropped and barriers to growth continue to hinder the growth plans of construction companies. The CBI has also called for business rates to be capped at 2%, instead of a rise to 2.6% in 2013 which could cost firms up to £140m. Policy director for the CBI, Katja Hall said: “With news of the loss of our AAA credit rating, it is crucial this budget injects confidence, while delivering investment and growth."