Construction Body Expresses “Grave Concern” Over Stormont Impasse

The Construction Industry Group – the umbrella body for almost 30 representative organisations covering all aspects of the construction industry here – has expressed “grave concern” over the current impasse on welfare reform and warned that the industry is facing collapse if the Assembly fails to implement the Stormont House Agreement and deliver a sustainable budget for Northern Ireland.

Speaking on behalf of its members, CIG Chairman Stephen Kane said: “We find ourselves in an extremely serious situation whereby the Northern Ireland construction industry, and the people working within in it, face a very bleak future if the Assembly fails to implement the Stormont House Agreement and agree a sustainable, deliverable budget for Northern Ireland.

“With a turnover of £2.18 billion in 2014, the local construction industry is of major importance to the wider Northern Ireland economy and delivers a number of significant multiplier effects. In terms of employment alone, 66,000 people currently work in the industry, representing almost 10 per cent of the working population in Northern Ireland – so the impact on the NI labour market is indeed far reaching.

“The outlook, quite frankly, is grim. We have a very real concern that the local construction is on the brink of collapse. We are urgently calling on our politicians to reach an agreed decision that will enable the construction industry to build a modern infrastructure for an economically competitive Northern Ireland.

“We also need our politicians to take action to facilitate the growth of private investment that will see a reduction in the dependency of the construction industry on public funding – thus meeting the Programme for Government target to rebalance the Northern Ireland economy. Failure to do so will have catastrophic implications for the local construction industry and the wider Northern Ireland economy.”

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