According to a new report by the highly respected Experian, the UK government could boost the UK economy by more than £15 billion between 2015 and 2020 if VAT on housing repair and renovation work was reduced. The research drew on the opinions of more than 60 charities, trade associations, business groups and financial institutions. All three main political parties have been asked to commit to the proposed VAT reduction which could help create an extra 95000 jobs and save 240000 tonnes of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere. Brian Berry, chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders, said:
‘A VAT reduction on housing renovation and repair work will empower homeowners to contribute to growth, jobs and greener homes without placing a burden on the Treasury. This research shows that the wider benefits of a VAT reduction on housing renovation and repair would stimulate more than £15 billion of wider economic activity, which completely overshadows any direct losses to Treasury coffers due to a drop in the percentage charged for VAT.”
Similar Measures Have Worked Elsewhere
The report notes that similar measures taken in countries such as the Isle of Man and the Netherlands have had a positive result on local and national economies as they’ve led to increases in consumer demands and employment.
Anything which helps to boost and stimulate the housing and building markets in the United Kingdom can only be a good thing. Architects, building managers, and construction workers would all benefit from an increase in work and business opportunities. A strong construction industry is vital towards ensuring a strong economy. It has been well documented that the UK is currently undergoing something of a housing crisis, and the government can help do its bit in helping the country to get back on its feet.
Political Support Gathering?
Leading figures from all three of the political parties heard how a VAT reduction on housing renovation and repair could boost the UK economy by more than £15bn from 2015-2020 in the report. Former Lib Dem leader Simon Hughes, shadow housing minister Emma Reynolds and Mark Pawsey, Conservative member of the communities and local government select committee were all told the key findings during its launch at a Cut the Vat Campaign event at Westminster. Whilst it remains to be seen if the plans do end up with a broad political support, there is no doubting the positive effects that such a move would have on the country as a whole.
The UK is home to some of the finest architects and builders on the planet. Their skills and expertise are in demand all over the world. It only takes a quick browse of some of the leading UK architect’s websites to see what can be achieved when skill and imagination are used together to create memorable and visually stunning buildings.
VAT will always be a controversial issue in some circles, but if the government were to go ahead with the idea it would be well received in many quarters.
About the Author – Sarah Makinson is a freelance business writer. She uses sources such as www.manser.co.uk to follow the latest business and architectural news.