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Report calls for more industry-government collaboration

Industry and government could work better together to develop policies that give greater certainty and confidence to industry and encourage investment, innovation and growth, according to a report from the Construction Products Association.

A Study of the Factors Underpinning Investment in the Construction Products Industry seeks to understand the economic, political and regulatory risks that may be influencing investment, showcases examples of policies with positive and negative effects, and advises on a best-practice approach to regulation and policy.

The key findings of the report included:

  • Effective regulations are clearly defined, target-driven and not prescriptive.
  • Industry needs policy and regulation that is simple, with minimal administrative burden.
  • Policy works best when government consults industry early and regularly to identify problems, review measures, provide solutions and evaluate results.
  • Government can create greater certainty for industry by providing a road map with a long-term plan – not just over five-year parliamentary cycles – and clear goals that allow time for industry to prepare.
  • Once the road map is implemented, unplanned changes should be avoided – delivery according to the original plan is key as consistency of policy helps industry invest.
  • Cross-party consensus should be sought in advance for policies that are key drivers in major markets – for example, infrastructure and housing – to prevent changes occurring because of party politics.

John Sinfield, managing director of Knauf Insulation and chair of the Construction Products Association, said: “In the construction products industry, many companies trade on a multinational scale and, as a result, have a choice of where they base their manufacturing. One of the major challenges faced today by both the UK government and UK business leaders is ensuring this country is viewed as a favourable location to invest.

“There is such a thing as ‘good regulation’ and policy. It supports the market, sets high standards and provides industry with a clear view of the way forward.  It motivates business to develop innovative products and solutions and invest in future opportunities.”

He added: “Ultimately, however, the regulatory framework must be seen by business as stable, concise and predictable over the long term. And, always, industry must be consulted fully.”

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