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Deadline approaches for 5% VAT cut on repairs

As the petition deadline looms, the building services industry is being urged by campaigners to back the Repairing Britain campaign calling on VAT on building repairs and maintenance to be cut to 5%.
The Repairing Britain petition is encouraging the government to make a targeted VAT reduction of 5% to save jobs and retain skills in the UK construction sector and encourage householders and businesses to undertake repairs to properties. The deadline for the petition, which is available on the 10 Downing Street website is April 2010.

Property maintenance firm Rok and Myson Radiators are among the firms backing the campaign, which has thousands of signatures on its online petition but needs many more to hit its 10,000 target.

Donnie Fraser, managing director of Rok Plumbing Heating and Electrical, said: “The practical benefits of reducing VAT on property repairs and maintenance have gained traction with thousands of people who have already signed our petition. We do want more support and I hope people can log on and show their support for our campaign before the deadline.”

He added: “Although, officially, the UK is out of recession, the challenges for business sectors like the construction industry are just beginning. Lowering VAT on property repairs and maintenance will provide a stimulus to the industry that bring in more work and help firms retain jobs and skills that are in danger of disappearing.”

There are an estimated one million empty homes in the UK today. Campaigners argue that there are as many as 15 – 20% of properties in the UK are likely to be in poor condition, in need of repair or underused. If 20% of the buildings that needed repairing were turned into homes, we would create 250,000 new homes to satisfy the country’s need.

To sign the e-petition, click here
11 February 2010

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