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RICS calls on Government to support growth in property and construction

The value of all property in the UK is over £4,500 billion and the sector employs some 500,000 people. By encouraging activity in these sectors, the Government will be able to promote economic recovery and provide long-term, sustainable growth.

RICS would also like to see a detailed plan for achieving efficiency savings of £5 billion in public sector property costs, and disposals of £20 billion, over the next ten years through long-term strategic planning and retention of the brightest professional talent in the public sector. 

While RICS acknowledges that significant cuts have been needed to reduce the deficit, this Budget provides an opportunity to initiate a sustainable recovery by restarting the massive engine of growth that is the construction and property sector.

Proposals include:

– Cutting VAT on refurbishment of homes
– Changes to the tax system to encourage residential property investment
– Reinstating empty commercial property rate relief

Mark Goodwin, Director of External Affairs said:

"This Budget provides the Government with a chance to encourage growth and innovation in construction and property, providing much needed jobs, tackling the housing shortage and ensuring that businesses have a continuing supply of high quality premises. With house-building at a desperately low level, it is essential that the Government takes steps to attract investment into the residential sector.
A recent survey of leading property professionals in the public sector shows that most fear the loss of vital professional talent in the wake of government cutbacks*. 

Goodwin adds:

"More strategic and efficient management of public sector property assets has rightly been identified as a golden opportunity for the Government to make savings of around £5 billion over the next ten years and release some £20 billion through disposals.

"Lead times in property can be lengthy and short-term cuts can have unintended long-term consequences. The success of the Government’s emerging strategy on public sector property asset management will depend in no small measure on attracting, retaining and developing talented professionals."

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