Cut the VAT Campaign Today

CHESHIRE businessman Jim Hadfield is calling on local MPs to support a bid to cut VAT on housing renovation and repair work which could provide a £15 billion boost to the UK economy and create more than 90,000 new jobs.

 The Managing Director of Cheshire – based builders A J Field Developments Ltd believes it is time for Government to put in place measures to counteract the impact of the recession years on the building industry, which has seen property owners cut-back on essential building maintenance.

“Although there has been a great deal of activity by the larger property developers planning new housing estates across the country, the property repair and general building sector has been badly affected by the economic challenges of recent years,” he explained.

“My company offers everything from new building and property extensions to specialist listed building repair work on properties across Cheshire, North Staffordshire and Shropshire and we have noticed a significant slump in demand from cost conscious customers.

“The Federation of Master Builders, and others, have called for a reduction in VAT to encourage more activity in the sector and to make essential repair work and property maintenance more affordable for property owners and we would whole-heartedly support such a move,” added Mr Hadfield.

“Obviously a reduction in VAT would help my business in particular, as the residential client may be able to afford to carry out more work or to a higher specification, leading to an increased contract value. It would also make using a less reputable builder who may cut corners or work for cash less tempting.

“However as we are approaching a General Election later this year, the politicians will no doubt be concentrating their activities on winning votes. Therefore it makes sense for us to encourage our MPs to realize that a VAT reduction on property repairs could be a vote winner from the point of view of building businesses and property owners.

“As a result I have written to my Constituency MP to look at the situation and have asked him raise the issue with his fellow MPs.”

The recent survey, supported by the Federation of Master Builders, found that a VAT reduction on housing renovation and repair could provide a £15.1 billion stimulus to the wider UK economy and 95,480 extra jobs by 2020.

It also discovered that EU rules permit member states to apply a reduced rate of VAT on housing renovation and repair.

In fact, similar VAT reductions have resulted in an increase in consumer demand and employment in the Isle of Man and the Netherlands.

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