THE BLOG

Infrastructure Action Was Needed Sooner

25/03/2013 19:54 GMT | Updated 25/05/2013 10:12 BST

This is my second blog for First Woman Awards, in association with Lloyds Banking Group.

It's always the case when you are asked to blog or contribute to this type of project that you start out thinking 'I won't know what to talk about'.

But something always happens to get the juices flowing and gets you motivated to take to the keyboard.

The Budget is probably a huge turn-off for most people but I watch and listen with great interest because of the effect it can have on the business.

All honesty, I hoped this Budget would have more of an immediate impact than it will because, while I welcome £3bn of extra spending on infrastructure projects - it won't come into force for another two years.

And, let me tell you, the construction industry needs that extra investment now.

Our industry has capacity and we need projects which are ready to go - and ready to go now, not in the distant future.

Not only will it help our industry, it would have a positive knock-on effect for the whole economy too.

There were positive announcements in the Budget. It is clear, with his announcements on shared equity, that the government is trying to stimulate both ends of the property chain and that is to be welcomed.

If developers and housebuilders feel there is realistic demand, then they will build. That is what they do!

The market has been stuck because people have not been able to get on the property ladder. Shared equity on new houses could make a difference, start to stimulate demand and we need to see that making a tangible difference on the ground and therefore create more jobs.

Again, when we are in such straitened times, there is little room for manoeuvre, and this was a take with one hand and give with the other budget. It was largely neutral, and designed with a forthcoming election in mind.

The National Insurance holiday for new employees along with the incentives for employee ownership of firms should be a help.

Our fuel costs have gone up seven per cent in three months. This is a cost we cannot simply pass on to clients so we therefore welcome the scrapping of the planned autumn increase.

Like all budgets, it will take time for the detail to come out but I think the call from our industry is that we know we can help stimulate the economy - but we need the projects to allow us to do that and we need the investment now!