In the 2014 Budget announced on Wednesday 19th March, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, confirmed an increase in the VAT threshold from April 2014, but failed to make a targeted reduction in VAT from 20% to 5% on housing and renovation repair. The reduction has been the key ask of the Cut the VAT coalition, a group which includes more than 60 charities (including the Heritage Alliance), trade associations and business groups that are all united in calling on all three parties to commit to this VAT reduction. Loyd Grossman, Chairman of The Heritage Alliance, and leading advocate for a change to VAT, said:

“I’m very disappointed that the Government hasn’t seen fit to reduce VAT to 5% on repair, maintenance and alteration, despite the compelling evidence produced by the Cut the VAT Coalition that this will boost the economy by more than £15 billion from 2015 to 2020, and create more than 95,000 jobs. The 20% VAT rate to repair, maintenance and adaptation to existing buildings, compared with a zero rating on new build is the greatest barrier to the sustainable use of our historic buildings, and despite the Government’s current disinterest, we will continue to push to make this targeted reduction”.

During his speech in March at the launch event of the latest Experian report, ‘An estimate of the effects of a reduction in the rate of VAT on housing renovation and repair: 2015 to 2020‘, Loyd Grossman had pledged the continued support of The Heritage Alliance for the targeted reduction from 20% to 5% on housing renovation and repair. He also urged all political parties to include the proposed reduction in their forthcoming general election manifestos.