The National Federation of Builders (NFB) – the UK’s oldest trade association representing all sizes of contractors, builders and housebuilders in England and Wales – today joined calls for the Government to cut VAT on home improvements from 20 per cent to 5 per cent. As part of the ‘Cut the VAT Coalition’, the NFB has voiced its strong support for a cut, and welcomed the launch today of a new independent report from Experian which found that a VAT reduction on housing renovation and repair could boost the UK economy by more than £15 billion from 2015 to 2020 and could also create more than 95,000 jobs, save 240,000 tonnes of CO2 and bring thousands of empty homes back into use.
Sameena Thompson, External Affairs Director of the NFB said:
“More than any other measure, the single act of cutting VAT on home refurbishment to 5 per cent would enable thousands of homeowners to improve their homes as values start to rise and equity becomes available. This would provide a much needed boost to thousands of builders and contractors as well as the economy, and provide a means to train the workforce to avoid a future skills gap.
“Reducing the VAT rate would further remove the appeal of using cowboy builders who cost the government billions of pounds in lost revenue. The lower VAT rate, while posing a potential reduction to Government revenues, would be more than offset by the rise in volume of orders. Who can argue with getting 5 per cent of something as opposed to 20 per cent of nothing? In fact, the Government stands to gain billions from the move, and billions more for the wider economy. It is a win win situation that I cannot see any sensible government ignoring.”
The report is backed by more than 60 charities, trade associations, business groups and financial institutions that are united in calling on all three main political parties to commit to this VAT reduction in their 2015 General Election manifestos.