10th November 2010 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The increase in the rate of VAT to 20 per cent next January will cost the very jobs required to deliver the Green Deal, warns the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) in response to today’s announcement from the Energy Secretary Chris Huhne MP, outlining his vision for the Green Homes Revolution to retrofit the existing building stock.
Richard Diment, FMB Director General said:
“At a time when the Government wants to create jobs and get people to improve the energy efficiency of their homes, they have decided to bring in a policy which will have exactly the opposite effect. In fact the timing of the VAT increase in January next year couldn’t be worse. Independent research on VAT shows that the £45.5 billion a year domestic Renovation Maintenance and Improvement market will fall by 2% as a direct impact of the VAT increase, and that removing this £910 million from the market will result in 7,500 jobs being lost from a sector that will need to grow massively in the run in to Green Deal if the ambition for it is to refurbish 26 million homes over the next 20 years.”
“What happens in the period from January 2011 to autumn 2012 when the Green Deal is expected to become available will be key to the policy’s chances of success. Given that the work will need to be completed at the rate of 1.3 million homes every year, amounting to 25,000 homes every week, the Government must drive job creation in the sector so that the skills are available when the Green Deal starts. At the moment they look set to do the opposite of what is required to give this challenging but essential policy any chance of success.”
Note to editors
- The construction industry is worth 8-10% of UK GDP. In 2008 the industry was worth £124bn.
- Over 93% of the industry’s 192,024 private contractors employ less than 14 people.
- Construction lost 63,000 jobs in the first quarter of this year and has shed more than 300,000 since Lehman Brothers collapsed in September 2008.