The British Woodworking Federation Group

We support cutting the VAT on home improvements work

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Posted By
Amanda Chesson
17/11/2020

Last year we gave our backing to a joint industry campaign calling on the Government to once again look at cutting the VAT on home improvements work. The facts presented were based on evidence – enhance quality repairs, help reach net zero targets and stimulate the economy. The Government chose not to move forward with the proposal.

At the beginning of November, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) and Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) issued a joint statement calling on the Chancellor to once again consider the VAT cut on home improvement works to 5%. We fully support this and believe this is the most practical way to ‘build back better’ and ‘build back greener’.

Here is some of the detail behind the reignited call to cut the VAT . . .

  • A national survey by the HomeOwners Alliance, Resi architects and YouGov found that 5.3 million UK homeowners pay cash for home improvements, in order to avoid VAT and make them more affordable. Meanwhile, VAT costs are deterring almost a quarter (23%) – roughly 4 million – of homeowners from improving their homes.
  • According to independent research conducted on behalf of more than 60 organisations including the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) and Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), cutting VAT to 5% for the period 2015 to 2020 would have generated an economic stimulus of £15.1bn and 95,480 extra jobs.

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “The Government must prioritise measures that create jobs in every community, and that will tackle climate change. Cutting VAT is an oven-ready fiscal policy that will help to generate billions in economic stimulus and tens of thousands of jobs across the UK. Local builders train almost three quarters (71%) of the industry’s apprentices, so supporting the repair, maintenance and improvement sector will help industry to train, train, train as well as build, build, build. Cutting VAT will also help us decarbonise our homes, as we know households prefer to do this as part of larger home improvement works.”

Dr Patrice Cairns, RICS Policy Manager said: “There is an urgent need to improve the energy efficiency within the UK’s building stock and retrofitting provides this opportunity. As the UK continues to spend more time at home, for our work as well as leisure, the benefits of green home improvements will continue to gather momentum. Government must use this unique opportunity to work with the professional expertise of industry and implement a holistic approach to retrofitting that will achieve significant carbon savings, both operational and embodied.”

For more information on this campaign, visit https://www.fmb.org.uk/news-and-campaigns/campaigns/cut-the-vat.html

Posted By
Amanda Chesson
Member of Construction Products Association
National Specialist Contractors Council
Passive Fire Protection Federation
CITB
Trade Association Forum
The Alliance for Sustainable Building Products
Confederation of Timber Industries