European finance ministers have voted to allow EU member states to charge VAT at 5% on home maintenance and repairs

The news has been welcomed by the ECA. Martin Wade, head of commercial contracts and legal, said: “This decision is very opportune in the current climate as it will remove the incentive for consumers to use cowboy tradesmen and increase work for legitimate and competent contractors.

“I hope any VAT reduction will extend to home improvements, including energy-efficient measures, thereby contributing to the national sustainability drive. It will undoubtedly help smaller contractors ride out the storm and because many employ apprentices it will help maintain our threatened skills base.”