FSB calls for home improvement VAT cut

The Federation of Small businesses (FSB) has called on the government to reduce VAT on home renovations to help companies struggling against a backdrop of decreasing trade.

According to a recent FSB survey, 59 per cent of its members in the construction sector admitted their business had suffered in the last six months.

It found almost four in ten (37 per cent) were worried their financial prospects for the year looked poor.

Nearly half (49 per cent) of respondents cited a lack of demand in the private and public sector as the key influencer in their pessimism.

"People who were thinking of adding an extension to their home, renovating their bathroom or building a garage, should be given the incentive to go ahead," explained FSB national policy chairman John Walker.

A recent HSBC study found building a conservatory can typically add more than £7,000 to the value of a home.