The Federation of Master Builders has called for VAT on domestic repair and maintenance work to be cut to boost the construction industry and help bring one million empty properties back into use.
The FMB said the move would help create “much needed jobs and apprenticeships for young people”.
Speaking during the 17th national empty homes week, FMB director of external affairs Brian Berry said: “With house building at its lowest level since 1924 bringing empty homes back into use is a sensible way to help meet housing needs of every community around the UK and cutting VAT on domestic maintenance and repairs would make sure that this happens.”
He cited recent research by the London School of Economics that found the current rate of VAT is acting as a disincentive for owners of unused properties to bring them back into use. “Often it is cheaper to simply demolish and rebuild as new build is VAT exempt,” he said.