RICS says Chancellor should cut VAT on home refurbishments to help residential sector

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has called for a cut in VAT on the refurbishment of homes to boost the economy.

In its pre-budget submission to the Treasury, it said the economy could be stimulated by boosting the construction industry through a cut in the tax, which rose from 17.5% to 20% at the beginning of the year.

Mark Goodwin, RICS director of external affairs, said: “This Budget provides the Government with a chance to encourage growth and innovation in construction and property, providing much needed jobs, tackling the housing shortage and ensuring that businesses have a continuing supply of high quality premises. With housebuilding at a desperately low level, it is essential that the Government takes steps to attract investment into the residential sector.”

It also raised concerns that the public sector needed to hold on to its best workers in order to meet targets to make savings through greater efficiency.

Goodwin continued: “The success of the Government’s emerging strategy on public sector property asset management will depend in no small measure on attracting, retaining and developing talented professionals.”