Charity backs call for VAT cut on empty homes work
Edited by Bob Witham.
A proposal to cut VAT for repairs and home improvement
work on vacant residential property
is the most realistic plan for getting these houses back into use, according to one charity.
Empty Homes said the government has taken some positive steps to address the problem of voids but the "bit that is missing" is an incentive for property owners to bring in the builders
David Ireland, the charity's chief executive, has therefore given his backing to a call by the Cut the VAT Coalition to lower the duty on repair and maintenance work from its current level of 17.5 per cent to a flat five per cent.
He commented that building a new house currently incurs a zero VAT rate but, from January, the charge for renovation work will increase to 20 per cent.
Bringing the levies closer together would encourage owners to get voids back into use, while providing the "ongoing benefit" of creating jobs for builders
across the country, Mr. Ireland added.
According to the Federation of Master Builders
, there are around one million empty homes in the UK.