A Response to a Letter from the UK Construction Group - July 2012

A response from Keith Ritchie to a letter from the UK Construction Group published in The Daily Telegraph on 11 July 2012

Titon has been part of the construction industry for 40 years and relies on contractors and the building industry in order to thrive and grow. We share the sentiments of the UK Construction Group that the UK construction sector is vitally important, especially in terms of national growth. Not only do three million people work in the sector, 10% of the country’s GDP comes from the construction industry – that’s £100bn per annum.

Following the announcement on 25 July 2012 that GDP has now fallen to a record 0.7%, the UK needs its construction industry more than ever. We need to build our way out of this economic turmoil.

The figures also revealed construction output to be down by 5.2% in the second quarter, and nearly 10% lower than a year ago. With the UK economy now 4.5% smaller than it was before the recession began, something clearly needs to be done to kick-start a recovery.

We have experienced recession in this country before, in the 1970s and 1980s, but we are seeing the strongest parallels with the 1930s, when a house building boom helped pave a way out of financial turmoil, resulting in GDP increasing by 20%; there is no reason why we can’t bounce back again.

There are over 300,000 firms working in construction in the UK. The industry creates the homes we live in, our workplace environment, our transport infrastructure and key amenities, such as our schools and hospitals. More importantly, every £1 invested in construction generates £2.84 in economic activity, and 92p of every £1 invested stays in the UK supporting jobs.

Titon is fully behind the UK Construction Group’s "Creating Britain’s future" initiative, which is dedicated to supporting construction as part of the country’s wider business agenda. The construction sector needs to be fully backed and supported by the Government, because construction growth will lead to economic growth and, ultimately, recovery.