RICS calls for VAT cut to 5%23 December 2008
Reducing VAT from 15% to 5% for all building renovation/repair work should be implemented to get empty homes back into use, according to the Royal Insititution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
The RICS said the government had already made “small steps” by introducing the VAT discount for properties empty for more than two years. “They now need to go further and offer this discount to all properties,” it said.
Extending the cut to all 762,635 empty UK homes, the RICS said, would make it more attractive for empty property owners to refurbish their buildings and rent them out.
“Rather than allowing homes to sit empty, everyone should be able to celebrate Christmas in a home of their own,” said RICS policy officer James Rowlands.
Similar experimental cuts in France and Italy resulted in the creation of tens of thousands of new construction jobs, while in the Isle of Man the tax intake actually increased because of the work created.