Fall in construction pushes Scotland into recession
Housing bodies in Scotland have urged the government to invest in affordable housing after a 7 per cent fall in the construction sector pushed Scotland into a double-dip recession today.
According to official figures, Scottish gross domestic product fell by 0.1 per cent during the first three months of 2012, but output in construction dipped by 6.9 per cent.
It meant the Scottish economy shrank by 0.1 per cent in the last quarter of last year – the second consecutive quarter of contraction.
Mary Taylor, chief executive of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, said: ‘Economists recognise that one of the best ways of boosting economic activity, and putting people directly into employment and apprenticeships, is to invest in new affordable housing.
‘This is also one of the most socially responsible areas in which government can invest public funds.’
The Scottish Government has pledged to build 6,000 affordable homes each year.
Michael Levack, chief executive of the Scottish Building Federation, said: ‘Such a dramatic slump requires radical action to turn things around. That’s why we give our full backing to the calls the first minister is now making on the UK Treasury to release £400 million in direct capital spending this financial year to kick-start the long list of shovel-ready projects north of the border that have stalled due to a chronic lack of affordable finance.’