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GGF URGES GOVERNMENT ACTION

Following the House of Commons Reception on 3rd March to launch a new independent report on the effects of a reduction in the rate of VAT on housing renovation and repair work, the GGF has urged the Government to take the necessary action.

The report highlighted that a VAT rate reduction on housing renovation and repair could boost the UK economy by more than £15 billion from 2015 to 2020 according to a new independent research report by Experian. This reduction could also create more than 95,000 jobs and save 240,000 tonnes of CO2 from thousands of homes.

Sponsored by the GGF, this new report is also backed by more than 60 charities, trade associations, business groups and financial institutions that are united in calling on all three main political parties to commit to this VAT reduction in their 2015 General Election manifestoes.

Nigel Rees, Group Chief Executive of the Glass and Glazing Federation, said: “We are most impressed with this research report and urge the government to now take the necessary action. As the report shows, reducing the VAT rate from 20% to 5% on housing renovation and repair has significant long term gains, not only for economic growth and job creation, but also for carbon reduction, as many contemporary home improvements will include the installation of energy efficient products.”

Hosting the launch reception, Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) underlined the advantages of reducing the VAT rate on home improvements, repair and maintenance work, “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.”

The event’s guest speaker was TV presenter and Cut the VAT supporter Loyd Grossman OBE. During his speech Grossman stressed the importance of improving existing housing stock and how offering incentives to homeowners such as a VAT reduction could only be a positive move for Government and for the UK as a whole.

All three main political parties were represented in the speakers list that included:

  • Mark Pawsey Conservative MP for Rugby
  • Gordon Birtwistle Liberal Democrat MP for Burnley and Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party Committee on Business, Innovation and Skills
  • Andy Sawford Labour MP for Corby and Shadow Minister for Communities and Local Government

All three MPs personally supported the Cut the VAT campaign, highlighting the economic, social and environmental benefits.

The research report also clearly shows that almost half of EU member states are currently enjoying the economic, environmental and social benefits that this VAT reduction can bring and questions why the UK should not follow suit.

After the event Nigel Rees commented, “We are pleased to have been one of the four key sponsors for this new report and the launch event, but it is just one avenue for our wider campaign which is to reduce the VAT rate from 20% to 5% not just on home improvements, repair and maintenance but also on all energy efficient products that are used in construction or home improvements.”

To read/download the full report please visit the GGF’s website www.ggf.org.uk/publications

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