The Builders’ Merchants Federation (BMF) has urged the Chancellor to cut VAT to 5% on household repairs, maintenance and improvements in the Autumn Statement next week, stating that it will help meet Britain’s housing needs and provide a boost to the economy by encouraging people to invest in their own homes.
Representing 560 building merchant and supplier companies whom together have combined sales of over £22bn and employ over 109,000 people in the building materials industry, the BMF supplies the vast majority of tradesmen and women who carry out repairs, maintenance and improvements.
It says that cutting VAT rates specifically on repair work will ease the housing crisis by encouraging investors and homeowners to upgrade the UK’s existing housing stock.
Commenting on its request, managing director John Newcomb spoke on behalf of the Builders’ Merchants Federation: “Reducing VAT in repairs, maintenance and improvements, will help upgrade existing UK housing stock, the vast majority of which is pre-second world war. Repairs, maintenance and improvements will also help improve the quality and availability of housing of all types and improve energy efficiency for many homes.
“We are urging the Chancellor to take this bold step in the Autumn statement as it will be good for housing, good for jobs and good for the economy.”
The Federation has also highlighted the following areas in its Autumn Statement submission:
– Easing the rates and rules on Stamp Duty to make it easier for ‘Last Time Buyers’ to ‘right-size’ to suitable accommodation and release larger homes back into the market.
– A freeze in Road Fuel Duty main rates for another year.
– Action on business rates by bringing forward the shift from RPI to CPI up-rating to the 2017-2018 financial year.
– Reforms to UK Capital Allowances, which are currently the least competitive in the G7 countries
– Confirmation of all outstanding policy decisions and funding levels before the Apprenticeships Levy comes into force in 5 months’ time.
– Publication of the Bonfield Review of Consumer Advice, Protection, Standards and Enforcement in the household energy-efficiency market
– Publication of the Wolstenholme Review of Cash Retentions in the Construction Industry
John Newcomb added: “We are looking to the Chancellor to make a strong commitment to businesses, including small businesses, who provide the backbone of the UK economy. There are many ways that the government can help our members in the months and years ahead, so that they can contribute to growth in the construction sector and the wider UK economy.”