The RIBA's campaign to persuade the Government to lower VAT on home repair and refurbishment has turned up the heat, following the decision in March 2009 by EU Finance Ministers that member states be allowed to reduce VAT to 5% on particular goods and services, including the domestic building repair and refurbishment sector.
We believe that if the Government agreed to lower VAT on home maintenance and repair it would boost the UK economy and create employment. It would increase commissions for architects by stimulating demand, would help the UK reach its challenging carbon targets through reducing the cost of retro-fitting energy efficiency measures, reducing fuel poverty,. and reduce the amount of building work that takes place outside the formal sector.
A new independent report commissioned by the Cut the VAT coalition examines the impact that a cut in VAT would make to the economy. The report concludes that
The report found that a cut in VAT to five percent could:
- create more than 24,000 jobs in the construction sector, as well as an extra 31,000 other new jobs in the wider economy in 2010 alone.
- contribute more than £1.4 billion to the UK economy in 2010 alone, rising to £17 billion by 2019.
- result in an extra £450 million a year for the improvement of the UK’s social housing stock. This would be enough to renovate or bring back into use approximately 19,000 homes per year.
- generate around £1.23bn extra expenditure over the next decade on energy efficiency measures.
You can find out more at the Cut the VAT coalition website (of which the RIBA is a member).
During this time you can also ask your parliamentary candidate or MP whether they support a Cut in VAT.
You can find your MP by going here and writing to them - sample letter here.
You can also write to the Chancellor, Alistair Darling – sample letter here.
Please let us know if you if you have written by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org