Party leaders urged to support Cut the VAT campaign

A coalition of business groups is calling for VAT to be cut to 5% for home improvements and maintenance work. 

Representing organisations across the property and construction sectors, the coalition claims reducing VAT from 20% to 5% on home improvement works would unleash investment in housing, stimulate the economy and enable the UK’s transition to net zero carbon.

The coalition has written to each of the leaders of Westminster’s main parties, asking them to speak for the Cut the VAT campaign and to meet with the coalition early in the next Parliament.

This is vital, the coalition of built environment groups said, in order to green the nation’s homes, with domestic buildings responsible for around 20% of the UK’s carbon emissions.

Melanie Leech, chief executive of the British Property Federation, says: “Reducing the rate of VAT on all repairs, maintenance and management of residential property would support the greening and improvement of our housing stock, and help the build to rent sector deliver more homes. We therefore urge the next Government to support the Cut the VAT campaign.”

Brian Berry, chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders, adds: “An amazing 20 million floors, 8 million lofts and 5 million cavity walls all in need of insulation across the UK, according to the Government’s own figures. The four main parties must go further in their policy pledges to promote and incentivise energy efficiency works. Given that homeowners tend to complete these tasks as a consequence of larger home improvement works the rate of VAT on repair and maintenance work needs to be reduced from the current 20% to 5%.”

BMA CEO Tom Reynolds says his organisation is fully supportive of the Cut the VAT campaign, which originally launched in 2015.

“The 2015 campaign had the support of more than 60 charities, trade associations, business groups and financial institutions because of the tangible economic, social and environmental benefits this change would bring,” says Tom. “It is even more important four years on, as such a substantial cut would improve the sustainability of bathroom products through extension of the lifecycle, ensuring they remain water efficient.

“Doing something about our leaky and inefficient existing housing stock with the increased use of more water and energy efficient bathroom products would go a long way to helping reducing the UK’s carbon emissions. I hope that the potential future leaders will respond and make this long for change a reality for the new government.”

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