- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 19 Sep 2018
CIC Economic and Policy Briefing 2017
On 21 February 2017, Designing Buildings Wiki attended the first CIC Economic and Policy Briefing of 2017. Chaired by Rt Hon. Nick Raynsford, the Construction Industry Council (CIC) briefings provide regular economic analyses, policy updates and comments on major commercial projects. The briefings bring together leading policy-makers, economists and senior industry players to discuss the key topics in an informal setting.
 Economic overview and forecast for the construction sector
James Hastings, Head of Construction Futures at Experian, began by explaining that in the aftermath of the EU referendum, growth forecasts took a big negative hit. Though there has been something of a bounce-back – to 1.3% as of January 2017 – most economic analysts are in agreement that Brexit will have a negative impact in the short term.
In terms of construction, he identified the following vulnerabilities, divided into positive, neutral and negative.
- No Brexit-induced recession is predicted.
- Some very big infrastructure projects are in the pipeline, although this is predicated on there being no slippage on HS2, Hinkley Point and Wlyfa Nuclear Power Station.
- Private housing growth continues.
- Abandonment of 2020 fiscal target may mean a little more money for the public capital projects.
- A slowdown in commercial construction growth rather than outright decline.
- Higher export growth is unlikely to mitigate a slowdown in domestic demand for manufacturing.
- The retail construction sector continues to struggle.
Hastings suggested the government is currently targeting the wrong areas with their Housing white paper. He said they should be focusing on building “true social housing for those who have no prospect of getting on the property ladder”, regardless of Help to Buy and various other schemes. The only way to solve the housing crisis, he said, was a “significant uplift in social housing”.
He started by explaining that access to the labour market is a key pull factor for illegal migration, and emphasised that the exploitation of illegal workers allows unscrupulous employers to undercut competition.
He highlighted the Immigration Act 2016, which included the new offence of illegal working, and also made it possible to prosecute rogue landlords and agents who repeatedly fail to carry out right to rent checks.
The Home Office branch of Immigration Enforcement have the power to close sites for 48 hours and issue compliance orders for up to 12 months. They can also issue civil penalties of up to £20,000 per illegal worker.
According to Tilley, there is widespread use of fraudulent/counterfeit documents in construction, in particular, fraudulently obtained Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) cards. Contractors are failing to carry out Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS) background checks in full, and often accept documentation at face value.
- Consider voluntary codes of practice (such as the Modern Slavery Toolkit, recently published by CIOB).
- Due diligence checks prior to awarding contracts.
- Right to Work clauses in contracts.
- Identity checks for agency staff.
- Document scanning technology.
- Proper training for HR and recruitment staff.
- Online support such as Gov.uk, PRADO and Keesing.
 Update on Crossrail 2
Neather began by identifying the recent milestones:
- March 2016: National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) gave their strong backing to the project and recommended it to be ‘taken forward as a priority’.
- May 2016: Sadiq Khan was elected Mayor of London, with a commitment to take the project forward.
- October 2015 to January 2016: A large public consultation attracted almost 26,000 responses.
- Summer 2016: A report was published on the response to issues raised.
- A budget reducing costs by £4 billion.
- A more detailed funding package.
- Evidence showing conclusively why Crossrail 2 is the right project for London.
- A plan to deliver the additional 200,000 homes Crossrail 2 will support.
The capital costs are now forecast at £31.2 billion, using 2014 prices and including a 66% ‘optimism bias’, which Neather claimed was tougher than that applied to HS2. The biggest cost is the stations (£9bn) and on-network works (£5.5bn).
The funding share has been agreed as follows:
The following milestones are projected for the future:
- Summer 2017: Public consultation on Revised Business Case.
- 2019: Submit consent powers application.
- 2022: Start construction.
- 2032/33: First Crossrail 2 service.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
What should be evaluated to assess building performance?
BIM standards BS 1192:2007+A2:2016 and PAS 1192-2:2013 have been superceded.
What is biophilic design and how can it increase wellbeing?
80 experts come up with the top 7 mistakes the industry makes with BREEAM.
Compliance cannot be verified by inspection on delivery.
Some electric cars have batteries that give a range of over 350 miles.
Assembling, curating, caring for, and designing the future.
A sensitive approach to renovating a building of historic stature.
UK energy policy uncertainty as Welsh project put on hold
What collaborative working achieves and how it can be put in place.
BSRIA publishes the 2019 edition of its small but concise annual databook.
Using QSAND to measure the performance of disaster response.
What U-values are, why they matter and how they are calculated.