Budget 2020: FMB calls on government to cut VAT

Ahead of this week’s Budget, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has called on the government to cut VAT on home repair and renovation works to boost economic growth.


The trade association has requested for the labour element of VAT to be cut from 20% to 5% on repair and renovation works on domestic dwellings.

The FMB claimed that such a reduction would kick-start order books, as well as support local builders’ contribution to the UK’s net zero carbon emissions target by 2050 and preserve Britain’s built heritage.

According to research by the FMB, 212 out of 357 small- to medium-sized building companies (59%) stated that the government could best support the construction industry by cutting VAT.

Brian Berry, chief executive at FMB, said: “We need a national retrofit strategy that sends homeowners and landlords a strong signal to invest in their properties, reduce costs and cut carbon.

“Cutting VAT is the key to unlock this and set us on track to achieve net zero by 2050 by saving almost 240,000 tonnes of CO2 from 92,000 homes.

“Making homeowners more likely to take these steps by cutting VAT would give the government a good news story ahead of hosting the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) later this year.”

In its pre-Budget submission, the FMB also called on the government to:

  • support small- to medium-sized housebuilders by reforming planning fees
  • create incentives for low-carbon housebuilder pioneers
  • review and reform the UK apprenticeship levy to ensure construction has the skills it needs

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