It is with this in mind that Anna Scothern Executive Director at the NHIC wrote to key government ministers this month asking that they take positive action to stimulate and support UK businesses for at least the period during the Article 50 negotiations.
Scothern said “NHIC members are optimistic about the future and are keen to learn more about timescales and what Brexit will look like, but in the short term we wanted to draw government’s attention to the independent report produced less than 12 months ago by Experian which demonstrates significant advantages to UK businesses alongside improvements in homeowner and tenants quality of life through a measured reduction in VAT from the current 20% to 5% on all housing renovation and repair works”
Scothern adds “The Experian Report ‘Cut the VAT’ shows that a targeted reduction in VAT of 15% could provide a huge economic stimulus of more than £15 billion over a five-year period and could also create more than 42,000 full time construction jobs and an additional 53,000 jobs in the wider economy.”
The NHIC believes that while the numbers would need to be reviewed within post-Brexit parameters, they are so compelling that at this time of national uncertainty government could proactively stimulate and support UK businesses, the wider economy and improve UK families living standards through adopting a measured cut in VAT focused on housing renovation and repair works.
The NHIC brings together organisations and companies from across the home improvement industry and focus on championing the improvement of the UK’s homes both in the private and social sectors. Members provide products and services that help homeowners and tenants take control of their living environments. Whether through improving energy performance through insulation, to minimizing water usage in bathrooms and kitchens to ensuring the very roofs over their heads are safe and well maintained.
Reducing VAT on renovation and repair works is not an untested philosophy; Similar VAT reductions have resulted in an increase in consumer demand and employment in both the Isle of Man and the Netherlands.
In addition to the persuasive finances and job creation figures, there could also be almost 240,000 tonnes of CO2 saved from 92,000 newly refurbished homes.
All of this potential activity at a time of need for the nation would not only improve the quality of homeowners and tenants lives through improved living standards, it would reduce the UK’s carbon footprint alongside the creation of new jobs and wealth at a grass roots level.