The swift appointment of Theresa May as Prime Minister has allowed the UK to experience a much needed reduction in the uncertainty created by Brexit, compared to a potential long drawn out election process, which would only add to it.
The new cabinet
Theresa May has undertaken a considerable reshuffle of the cabinet, with new ministers for sectors that are important to Whitescape: education and business, whilst Jeremy Hunt still remains as health secretary. Their policies and the way they want to take their sectors forward could have an effect on our industry. Whitescape is closely monitoring the situation, particularly the appointment of Jesse Norman who has been appointed the new energy and industry minister.
The future of infrastructure projects
Mrs. May has stated her desire to implement “more Treasury-backed project bonds for new infrastructure projects.” This boost in investment would help grow the construction industry to try and drag itself out of the recession it currently finds itself in. Also, Chris Grayling, the transport secretary, has stated that he has no plans to cancel the HS2 project. This appears to be good news for the construction industry in the long term, particularly the larger companies who will be undertaking the majority of the work. However, May’s government have recently expressed doubts over undertaking the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant project. We hope that this does not become a common trend of the new government.
The new prime minister has also stated that “Brexit means Brexit.” This will reduce the amount of uncertainty caused by the vote to leave the EU, as explained in the last post. This is good for the industry in the sense that uncertainty causes investment to fall. Overall, Brexit may not be seen as a positive move for the industry, but a government stance that it is definitely going to happen will put some minds at ease. This allows us at Whitescape to continue developing our business strategies with Brexit implemented into them. However, we must be mindful that what governments say and what they do are often two completely different things, and we need to keep our options open.
May’s short-term task in running the country is to steady the ship and increase confidence within the economy. This is essential for the construction industry, including Whitescape, to prosper in the next few years. We believe that the appointment of Theresa May, on balance, is good news for construction. The breath of fresh air that comes with a new government has the potential to boost business and consumer confidence within the UK, stabilising investment in construction.