We need urgent action to tackle the economic crisis

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Architects’ priorities are cash flow, planning and sites staying open, writes RIBA’s chief executive

Earlier this week, I wrote to the chancellor setting out the measures the government should take now to support the architecture sector over the coming months. This is uncharted territory for all of us. However, with the right support from government, I am confident this is a challenge we can overcome.

We think the government needs to deliver in three main areas: preserving cash flow, maintaining the operation of the planning and development control systems and ensuring that construction projects continue in a safe way. We recognise that business as usual isn’t going to be possible, but it is in everyone’s interest that we all do as much as we can to keep the wheels of the economy turning.

Cash flow

For many of our members, cash flow is the most pressing and immediate source of concern. We hope the Treasury will be open to considering a range of measures that allow businesses to prioritise their day-to-day financial transactions. Some of this is relatively straightforward: the immediate deferral of PAYE, VAT and business rate payments, clear guidance on how to access loans and the timescales for how long they can expect to wait for decisions and funds.

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