Half of all companies in the construction sector only have projects lined up for less than three months in the future. "It's a disaster," according to the president of the Federation of Craftspeople (FDA).

A construction crisis is looming. Over the next few months, the number of orders will drop further. Speaking to our colleagues from RTL Radio on Tuesday morning, FDA President Luc Meyer said that the situation is exceedingly unpredictable and that "people no longer have the budget to build."

Housing prices risk going through the roof

Meyer also claimed that certain policy decisions "make it less appealing to invest in housing." Normally 3,500 houses are built per year in Luxembourg. This year there will only be 2,000. However, seeing as people are still coming to live in the Grand Duchy, Meyer urges that "something needs to be done now to get construction going again." Otherwise, the FDA president fears that "housing prices risk going through the roof in two years' time," which would further aggravate the housing crisis.

The government must take action

The Federation of Craftspeople has several demands for the government, including an increase in the tax credit on notarial instruments ("Bëllegen Akt"), and an option to sell houses built in stock at lower VAT. "Companies that have work should also be able to borrow employees from those who have less work. This is the only way to retain labour in the sector," Meyer said.

FDA "absolutely opposed to a reduction in working time"

The FDA is "absolutely opposed to a reduction in working hours," according to its president, who points out that the sector is already struggling with staff shortages. "In the past, when there were crises, we rolled up our sleeves and worked more, not less," Meyer complained. In his view, schedules should be worked out internally with employees. On the other hand, the FDA president acknowledged that labour law needs to be modernised.

Read also: Rents soaring on Luxembourg's housing market 
 
Or: "I'm 41, I won't be able to buy in Luxembourg anymore, it's over."