20th March 2009 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Chancellor needs to use his Budget on 22 April to announce a cut in VAT to five percent on property refurbishment in the light of European finance ministers’ decision last week to allow EU Member States to reduce VAT on home maintenance and repairs, says the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).
Speaking at the consumer launch of the ‘Get Britain Building’ campaign at the Home Building and Renovating show at Birmingham’s NEC, Richard Diment, Director General of the FMB said the benefits of a cut in VAT for homeowners and tenants alike would be vast and the time for action had come.
Richard Diment, Director General said:
“Cutting VAT on home maintenance and repairs will not only boost the economy, through increased workloads for builders, but also create a better way of life for people all over the country. At the moment lots of people, especially the vulnerable and the elderly, are unable to keep their homes and themselves warm. Cutting VAT would encourage people to carry out energy efficient repairs and maintenance which in turn would mean savings on energy bills and fewer people living in fuel poverty.”
“Around the UK there are some 800,000 homes sitting empty because they are unlivable. And even more people are living in accommodation which is substandard. VAT at five percent would make it much more affordable for homeowners to do-up their home and get them to a suitable living standard.”
“At the European level the barriers to cutting VAT have been removed so now the Government can, and should, take action now. The Budget next month is the perfect time for the Treasury to make an announcement on this and in so doing do something tangible for homeowners as well as increasing its revenue.”