Questioning the Treasury, Carla Lockhart said:
“In my constituency and across Northern Ireland small family run construction companies and those operating at a larger scale are telling me that this will cripple their profitability, and that alongside other increases in cost of materials that have rocketed in the last year, it will make their operation even more challenging.”
Carla Lockhart added:
“The Government cite the drive to net zero as the reason for this change. Yet what they do not factor in is the dependence on diesel within construction and the lack of real alternatives to switch to alternative sources of power particularly for heavy plant.
Electric power is not yet at the game in terms of heavy construction equipment. Until that is the case, diesel power is needed, yet the Government are intent on hammering the construction sector at a time when they really ought to be supporting the industry to help our economic recovery from the pandemic.
By increasing cost, this will be passed on to the consumer whether that be the family building a new home, or the cost of building a new school or hospital.
We need a delay in the change planned for 2022 and greater investment in technology to help produce alternative source powered machinery. I urge the Government to listen to the industry and those of us who are working hard to make the case for the industry. I will continue to pursue this with the Government.”