Highlands and Islands Labour MSP Rhoda Grant has called for measures to revive the Islands’ construction industry following information revealed by the Office of National Statistics which shows
50 building trade crafts workers are currently unemployed (in receipt of Job Seekers Allowance) in the region.
The figures break down into:
Electricians, electrical fitters 5
Bricklayers, masons 10
Plumbers, heating and ventilating engineers 5
Carpenters and joiners 20
Painters and decorators 10
Ms Grant said: “With both the UK and Scottish economies now in downturn, it’s time to turn this recession round into economic recovery, with a strong boost for the construction industry.
“The importance of this sector in reviving the overall health of the economy cannot be overestimated.
“The Federation of Master Builders say that for every £1 invested in the construction industry, £2.84 is generated in total economic activity.
“The UK government needs to ensure that banks lend money to provide essential investment for small businesses, which are prominent in the construction sector, and there needs to be as well a cut in VAT to help jump start the revival.”