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Construction policy

General Election

NCE asked whether the government should reintroduce a construction minister, given that the industry contributes around 10% of Gross Domestic Product.

Labour scrapped the role in 2003, putting construction in the same portfolio as small business and enterprise within the Department of Trade & Industry (NCE 19 June 2003).

Quinn justifies this on the grounds that construction issues straddle the portfolios of more than one minister and get a lot of government attention as a result.

'Few sectors get more combined attention from secretaries of state and ministers, ' he says.

But Kennedy and Howard appear deaf to calls to reinstate the role.

Howard rules out creating an industry specific ministry, while Kennedy wants to scrap the DTI altogether, putting the Treasury in charge of business policy.

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