The Living with Beauty Report, launched in January 2020, proposes a new development and planning framework in the building environment.
The overriding recommendation is that “Government should align VAT on housing renovation and repair with new build, in order to stop disincentivising the re-use of existing buildings.”  QASSS confidently express their support to the VAT cut recommendation. Currently, new build homes and flats are zero-rated for VAT, but repair, maintenance and improvement attract a VAT rate of 20%.
Coinciding with the thoughts of the report is the current net-zero goal, the Government wants the UK to be net-zero by 2050 and is currently focusing on new homes through the Future Homes Standard.  However, we do believe that there appears to be little incentive available for householders when looking to make their existing homes more energy efficient.
With both of the above in mind, research by The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) found that a cut to VAT would lead to a reduction in CO2 of 240,000 tonnes across 92,000 homes, yet another reason why we support the VAT cut.
Adrian Simpson, Director of Policy and Regulatory Affairs at QASSS, comments, “With householders looking to improve rather than move it seems unfair that new homebuyers should get all the benefits. We would like to see VAT on renovations aligned to VAT on new homes. Householders should be encouraged to improve the look, feel and comfort of their homes and some of their renovations could also increase the energy efficiency of their home.”