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Builders' federation says Budget must prioritise jobs

Contain your shock.

THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY FEDERATION has said the Budget being prepared for this December must prioritise the creation of jobs above all other goals.

The call for employment to be given priority came as the CIF launched its pre-Budget submission, and warned that further massive job losses could follow in 2011 if the government does not reaffirm its commitment to capital investment.

Federation director-general Tom Parlon said the government’s four-year budgetary strategy could not be brought to fruition “without economic and employment growth. If this is to be achieved, the Government has to protect productive spending in the Budget.

“The Capital Investment Programme is particularly crucial in this regard. Cutting capital investment again will only serve to further depress economic activity and as has been illustrated over the past 2 years, put more pressure on the Exchequer as a result of further unemployment. Cutting productive investment is a false economy,” he added.

Parlon suggested that the introduction of a 0% stamp duty, which would cost the government relatively little given how little income it currently makes from the duty, would be one way to stimulate interest in both commercial and residential property.

“The black economy in construction is now a major problem,” Parlon said. “Further cutting capital investment and raising the tax burden on families and businesses to try to balance the books is not a sustainable approach.”

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Among the proposals in the CIF’s Budget submission is the extension of mortgage interest relief, currently set to be withdrawn in June 2011, for a further twelve months.

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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