A coalition of business groups and organisations from across the property and construction sectors have joined forces to urge the next UK government to cut VAT on maintenance and improvement works to people’s homes.

The group, including the Bathroom Manufacturers' Association (BMA) and Builders Merchant Federation, said that reducing VAT from 20% to 5% on home improvement works would unleash investment in housing, stimulate the economy and enable the UK’s transition to net-zero carbon.

The coalition has today written to each of the leaders of Westminster’s four largest parties, asking them to speak for the Cut the VAT campaign during the remainder of the General Election campaign and to meet with the coalition early in the next Parliament. 

This is vital, the coalition of built environment groups said, in order to green the nation’s homes, with domestic buildings responsible for around 20% of the UK’s carbon emissions.

BMA Chief Executive, Tom Reynolds, said: “Doing something about our leaky and inefficient existing housing stock with the increased use of more water and energy efficient bathroom products would go a long way to helping reducing the UK’s carbon emissions.

“The letter includes some powerful arguments on how this move would help us reach our net-zero carbon targets, increase investment in housing and stimulate the economy. I hope that the potential future leaders will respond and make this long for change a reality for the new government.”

Melanie Leech, Chief Executive of the British Property Federation, said: “Reducing the rate of VAT on all repairs, maintenance and management of residential property would support the greening and improvement of our housing stock, and help the build to rent sector deliver more homes. We therefore urge the next government to support the Cut the VAT campaign.”

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders, said: “The four main parties must go further in their policy pledges to promote and incentivise energy efficiency works. Given that homeowners tend to complete these tasks as a consequence of larger home improvement works the rate of VAT on repair and maintenance work needs to be reduced from the current 20% to 5%.” 

Organisations signing the letter to Westminster Party leaders are:

  • Bathroom Manufacturers Association
  • British Blind and Shutter Association
  • British Property Federation
  • British Woodworking Federation
  • Builders Merchants Federation
  • CPRE, the Countryside Charity
  • Civil Engineering Contractors Association
  • Chartered Institute of Building
  • Country Land and Business Association
  • Countryside Alliance
  • Electrical Contractors’ Association
  • Federation of Master Builders 
  • The Heritage Alliance
  • HomeOwners Alliance
  • Insulation Manufacturers Association
  • National Federation of Builders
  • National Home Improvement Council
  • National Landlords Association
  • Roof Tile Association
  • Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors
  • Scottish Building Federation
  • UK Green Building Council
  • The VAT Consultancy.