FMB calls for VAT cut on home improvements

Homeowners looking to carry out improvements to their property such as building a conservatory could soon be in line to make a saving.

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) is concerned that the financial downturn is causing property owners to be more careful with their cash, meaning a reduction in the number of orders.

However, it feels that the government could entice consumers to treat themselves to a new conservatory or lean-to kitchen extension by cutting VAT on home improvements.

FMB director general Richard Diment called for the government to step in and kick-start the market.

"The government must do all it can to increase consumer confidence to encourage spending in the home improvement market," he said.

"A targeted cut in VAT to five per cent on home maintenance and repairs would help kick-start this move."

Over six in ten (61 per cent) FMB members expect that workloads will be down between now and the end of March and Mr Diment is keen to avoid that situation.

The FMB was established over 70 years ago to help protect the interests of small and medium-sized building firms.