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Budget to prolong recession for construction industry

Construction firms could feel the fallout of the recession for another three years thanks to the coalition Government’s austerity budget, leading industry figures have said.

Construction management firm Hill International director Gary Blackburn gave a gloomy prediction for the future when he spoke at a debate in Manchester.

He predicted a rise in companies folding and a falling number of jobs in the industry during a speech at The Future of UK Construction Post Election.

He said: “Over the coming years, we are likely to see an increase in insolvencies. Jobs are running out and it is leading to businesses reducing their margins to critical levels to remain competitive. I am aware of some companies that are now even running on negative margins.”

Also speaking at the event, organised by Hill International and the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), was University of Salford construction procurement specialist Peter McDermott.

He said: “Different regions are having their own recessions at different times, but it is likely that across the board, there will be at least three more years of financial difficulty for the construction industry.”

Salford MP Hazel Blears, who chaired the debate, said: “It is a mistake to make these decisions at a time where Europe has such a fragile economy. It is too much, too fast, and we will see people on the dole as a result.”

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