By Daniel Hunter

The CBI has again reiterated its call for a confidence-building Budget with measures to boost the housing market at its heart.

Ahead of today’s (Wednesday) budget, the CBI argues that housing - with its relatively short lead-in times — can provide a quick-win for the economy, and it is urging the Chancellor to introduce measures to benefit first and second-time buyers, householders refurbishing homes and smaller house builders struggling to access finance.

“The businesses I speak to all say that confidence is the missing ingredient in the economy," John Cridland, CBI Director-General, said.

“Businesses don’t need a swathe of new initiatives or radical policy shifts, but we do want to see a renewed sense of optimism, dynamism and delivery.

“We think a budget with housing at its heart will help deliver confidence to businesses and consumers. On the supply side we’re calling for 50,000 new affordable homes to be built; incentives for refurbishing empty houses; and extending the housing guarantee scheme to all types of housing.

“Meanwhile, to stimulate demand, the Chancellor should supercharge the NewBuy scheme to help second-time buyers struggling to get on the next rung of the property ladder or trapped in negative equity.”

The UK’s leading business group is also calling on the Government to bring forward its road spending and repair programme, as well as strengthening support for exporters and for smaller firms struggling to access finance. This package of targeted measures should form part of a fiscally-neutral Budget which would shift £2.2 billion from current spending to high-growth areas.

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