VAT-cut vote can cre­ate jobs, claims cam­paigner

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - East Kent Property - - News -

Mem­bers of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment have voted by a ma­jor­ity of more than 600 in favour of re­duced rates of VAT for build­ing re­pair and main­te­nance work, send­ing a strong mes­sage to the UK Gov­ern­ment. The vote took place dur­ing a de­bate on Euro­pean Com­mis­sion plans to in­crease the range of goods and ser­vices that can use re­duced VAT rates. The aim of the VAT cut is to kick-start the Euro­pean econ­omy and cre­ate jobs. UK MEPs from all po­lit­i­cal par ties voted for re­duced rates of VAT for build­ing re­pair and main­te­nance work. Cut the VAT Coali­tion co-or­di­na­tor Richard Hys­lop said: “This is fan­tas­tic news. The Euro­pean Par­lia­ment has joined forces with the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion to send out a very strong mes­sage to the in­di­vid­ual mem­ber states of the Euro­pean Union, namely, that re­duced rates of VAT for build­ing re­pair and main­te­nance work will ac­tu­ally cre­ate jobs and help kick-star t the economies of Europe. “While we are de­lighted that MEPs have voted over­whelm­ingly in favour of a re­duc­tion in VAT, the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment’s views are ad­vi­sory and Euro­pean fi­nance min­is­ters will have the fi­nal word.” Anna Scott-Mar­shall, from the Royal In­sti­tute of Bri­tish Ar­chi­tects, said: “The UK Gov­ern­ment needs to get se­ri­ous about how they will achieve the tar­get of cut­ting car­bon emis­sions by 80 per cent by 2050. “Re­duc­ing VAT to five per cent for all home im­prove­ment work would help make this a re­al­ity. It would en­able home­own­ers to make those cru­cial changes to their homes, cre­ate jobs, par tic­u­larly for small busi­nesses, help re­duce fuel pover ty and also help to rid the mar­ket of cow­boy builders.” The com­mis­sion is propos­ing that the pe­riod is in­def­i­nite and that mem­ber states in­cor­po­rate ad­di­tional labour-in­ten­sive or lo­cally sup­plied ser­vices into the range of goods and ser­vices el­i­gi­ble for a re­duc­tion in VAT if there is no risk of dis­tor ting the sin­gle Euro­pean mar­ket.

For a trial pe­riod, Mem­ber States are also al­lowed to ap­ply lower rates on cer tain labour-in­ten­sive ser­vices un­til 2010.

The Cut the VAT Coali­tion be­lieves that re­duc­ing VAT from 17.5 per cent (15 per cent un­til Jan­uary 2010) to five per cent for all main­te­nance and home im­prove­ment work would help the Gov­ern­ment achieve its tar­get of cut­ting car­bon emis­sions by 80 per cent by 2050. It would also ben­e­fit mil­lions of UK home­own­ers by get­ting rid of cow­boy builders, help­ing those who can­not af­ford vi­tal re­pairs to their homes, bring­ing empty proper ties back into use and pro­tect­ing the coun­try­side. For more in­for­ma­tion on the coali­tion go to www.cut­the­vat.co.uk.

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