The construction industry says that a proposal for private investment in affordable housing has been rejected. | Archive

The construction committee within the CAEB Confederation of Balearic Business Associations believes that the regional government's new land decree - expected to be ratified by parliament on Tuesday - will increase the cost of housing, will not reactivate the economy, and will impose "radical ideology" above the general interest.

The decree, CAEB argues, will leave some 50,000 families without access to housing over the next ten years and will greatly affect jobs in the construction industry and in support businesses; the decree represents a danger for the industry. The government "is boasting" that it is introducing protectionist regulation when in reality it is reducing the capacity to build on rustic land. Experience with this type of regulation, wrongly called protection when it is really prohibition, shows that it leads to an increase in land prices and in the kind of speculation that the government wishes to combat.

The government, says CAEB, convened a housing working party and "hid its intentions" with regard to this decree, which will now be ratified "without negotiation or dialogue or the seeking of consensus and by using a means of totally unjustified urgency".

The CAEB committee adds that it will be suspending its participation in the working party until the government rectifies its land and housing policy. It notes that the government has rejected a proposal from the construction sector for raising 2,000 million euros of private investment with the aim of "reactivating the Balearic economy, generating more than 20,000 jobs and providing a short-term solution to the problem of social emergency caused by the lack of decent and affordable housing". This was a proposal for private investment to provide housing at prices of between 150,000 and 250,000 euros.

Businesses in the construction industry have meanwhile launched an "SOS Construction" video campaign to draw attention to the number of people who work in the industry and to everything that the industry contributes to the Balearic economy. Construction represents six per cent of Balearic GDP. There are 16,500 companies directly and indirectly engaged in construction, and there are some 100,000 people who work in construction.