Immediate one-year cut in VAT to 5% on home improvements, repairs and maintenanceVAT is of course an EU tax, so any changes are subject to approval by our Brussels masters, and lo and behold a quick check shows that this policy was announced in 2009 with EU approval:
The UK is to be given the option to charge VAT on home maintenance and repairs at a reduced rate of 5%, after a ruling by European Union finance chiefs.
The ruling paves the way for the UK government to ease the tax burden on a construction industry badly hit by the recession – allowing architects, builders and surveyors to carry out private refurbishments for a cheaper rate.
Yesterday's decision by the EU Economic and Financial Affairs Council to allow member states to lower VAT on renovation and repair of private dwellings from 17.5% to 5% comes after months of campaigning by trade bodies and MPs.
A 5% VAT rate on home improvements was one of the main points of the Get Britain Building manifesto set up by a coalition of MPs and trade bodies last month. It has also been the focus of a long-running campaign led by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).
Sigh, plus ça change, etc etc