FMB Manifesto

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has published a General Election Manifesto calling for a dedicated Secretary of State for Housing to address the housing crisis.

Representing the interests of small house builders, both SME and micro, the FMB’s manifesto is a clarion call ahead of the general election for the political parties to engage with the sector. The falling number of new homes combined with the nation’s failure to retrofit our existing 29 million homes represents a huge problem for the next government in connection with housing.

This has resonance for the custom and self build sector, as nearly of all its homes are produced by SME builders, often supplied by a range of SME companies.

Entitled Growth from the Ground Up, the manifesto includes a range of key asks for government:


  • Introduce dedicated planning resources for SME house builders in local authorities and set up developer forums.
  • Unlock small sites by ensuring that provisions in the NPPF are being followed at local level.
  • Create a new dedicated housing department with a Secretary of State for Housing.


  • Produce a construction skills plan to set out a long-term delivery schedule for vocational skills.
  • Set clear competence standards for retrofitting work to help guide current and future training provision.
  • Work with industry to create professional training pathways for prospective builders.

Energy Efficiency

  • Introduce a long-term strategy mapping the steps required to retrofit existing homes.
  • Develop industry and consumer incentives to kickstart a thriving retrofit construction sector.


  • Work with industry to introduce a licensing scheme for building firms and sole traders operating in the repair, maintenance and improvement sector.

Business Resilience

  • Introduce a national scrappage scheme to coincide with the rise of vehicle emission zones.
  • Reduce VAT on RMI work to boost small builders and encourage consumers to improve their homes by making them more energy efficient.

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “As we approach the general election the new government needs to address the growing housing crisis if it is to stimulate economic growth. Without an adequate supply of homes people can’t move freely, which stifles growth and opportunities. The FMB’s General Election manifesto calls on the new government to take urgent steps to boost house building rates; tackle the ongoing skills crisis in construction; support the rollout of energy efficiency upgrades to existing homes; and introduce a scheme to set a minimum competency level for builders.

“Housing delivery requires a competent and available workforce, which is why we’re calling for clear pathways into the building industry to help professionalise and boost the image of the industry so that a new generation of people can join the construction sector.

“The next government should also ensure that the building profession finally rids itself of cowboy builders. It’s not right that anyone can call themselves a builder without any minimum level of competence, therefore we want to see the new government to work with the industry to make this a reality.

“The FMB’s manifesto sets out a comprehensive set of policies that will help builders drive long-term growth. Helping to deliver positive change in our industry is crucial to delivering sustainable long-term economic growth for the UK. The FMB is showing that local builders, who are too often forgotten about by politicians, are part of the solution to creating a more dynamic country.”

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