Timber industry broadly welcomes Hammond’s Autumn Statement

24 November 2016

The Government’s shift from austerity to fiscal stimulus, with infrastructure and housing at the heart of efforts to boost economic productivity, has been broadly welcomed by umbrella-body, the Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI).

The shift was signalled by the Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond’s Autumn Statement yesterday, and in its reaction the organisation said it should help the timber industry.

"The conditions next year are challenging, especially considering the continued uncertainty and the £122bn loss that the OBR expects from Brexit. In light of this, we welcome the switch in focus from austerity to fiscal stimulus and opportunities in the real economy,” said David Hopkins, managing director of the Timber Trade Federation (TTF), speaking on behalf of the CTI.

"Setting housing and infrastructure at the heart of our economic policy is good news and will have a positive effect on the timber sector. The Business Rates reduction package on the surface will give a boost, especially for our rural members though it may not adequately address the challenges that they face - we will be analysing the detail carefully."

"The emphasis on productivity throughout is paramount and we very much welcome the National Productivity Investment Fund and initiatives to drive growth through LEPs and devolved administration and look forward to seeing more detail on how these plans will be enacted.”

Iain McIlwee, chief executive of the British Woodworking Federation (BWF) added: "The key word in the statement is productivi