Tories demand re-think
House builders ‘want to follow English return to work’
Building sites remain inactive in Scotland (pic: Terry Murden)
The SNP government has been urged to ease its restrictions on house builders in Scotland in line with a resumption of work south of the border.
Persimmon reeopened some sites last week and Taylor Wimpey will do the same today. Bellway is also due to restart operations.
All say they are working to strict health and safety guidelines on social distancing and disinfectant.
But none will be reopening sites in Scotland as the government has imposed a ban on all but essential construction work.
The trade unions have supported the Scottish Government’s stance, but the Scottish Conservatives have spoken to several house builders who say they are ready to return safely.
They told the party that plans were in place to allow different tradesmen in on a rota system to ensure social distances, and that other adequate preparations had been made.
Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw said: “We’ve been clear from the start that if the SNP wants to take a divergent approach from the rest of the UK, it has to show why that’s a benefit.
“And while this is first and foremost a public health crisis, we have to acknowledge and plan for the economic devastation too.
Jackson Carlaw: ‘the First minister needs compelling evidence’ (pic: Terry Murden)
“Now we’re seeing work resume on all kinds of building sites in England, while in Scotland these remain empty.
“This will cause a disparity when it comes to economic recovery, and that’s not something we want to see replicated across the board.
“If Nicola Sturgeon is to continue this ban on construction, she needs to produce compelling evidence about why she’s doing it.”
Scottish Conservative shadow housing minister Graham Simpson said: “There is already a housing crisis across Scotland, and this needless delay by the SNP is only going to make that worse.
“The further Scotland lags behind under the SNP, the more people are going to miss out on the opportunity of moving into a home that’s either under construction or in planning.
“What’s more, the construction industry and all the trades associated will risk plunging deeper into financial disaster, and many won’t come back from that.
“The industry has said it can return to work safely and that’s what’s now happening elsewhere in the UK.
“It’s time for the SNP to listen to the experts and follow suit.”