Listen up, George Osborne. British business are claiming that 95,000 jobs and £15 billion savings could be created between 2015 and 2020 if VAT is reduced on housing renovations and repairs.
The independent research, revealed by credit company Experian, is supported by more than sixty charities, trade associations, business networks and financial services organisations, all of which are demanding change for the 2015 general election.
VAT cut benefits far outweigh the cost
According to the Federation of Master Builders’ Chief Executive Brian Berry, cutting VAT on home repairs and renovation will contribute to economic growth without affecting the public purse. As the report indicates, the financial, social and economic benefits would far outweigh any direct revenue losses suffered by the Treasury.
Other EU member states already have lower VAT than us
It isn’t a revolutionary move. Around half of EU members currently enjoy VAT reductions and there’s no real reason why Britain shouldn’t do the same, despite the common misconception that our membership of Europe is what’s stopping us from reducing VAT in this country.
The green argument
The report reveals how cutting VAT by 5% would also be a positive move for reducing carbon emissions, since a proportion of home improvements will include installing energy-efficient boilers, heating systems, cooling systems and other green products.
Historic buildings will feel the love
The Institute of Historic Building Conservation also contributed to the debate, since maintaining the country’s historic buildings is so labour-intensive. A drop in VAT will help support key skills and generate thousands of new jobs. Sometimes the VAT burden makes all the difference between saving an old, unique or historically interesting building and letting it go to wrack and ruin. There’s also the fact that day to day maintenance would be less expensive, so more likely to take place.
With a bit of luck all the main political parties will put the VAT cut on their agenda for the general election next year.