B&ES challenges VAT on Listed Buildings
The Association has recently joined with a number of like-minded industry organisations in a bid to urge the Government not to abolish the zero-rate VAT charged on construction works on listed buildings.
B&ES has warned David Gauke, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, that charging VAT at the standard rate on such projects would militate against achievement of the 20% reduction in construction costs being sought by Government.
During a meeting with Mr Gauke and in a subsequent letter, the Association stressed that this was especially the case at a time when:
(a) materials prices are rising substantially;
(b) Government is looking to construction to deliver sustainable engineering solutions;
(c) firms are being urged to invest in technology and training;
(d) a serious skills shortage is looming; and
(e) almost 6,000 insolvencies were recorded in the sector in 2010 and 2011, and the Office for national Statistics recorded a quarterly fall of 4.8% in construction output for the first quarter of 2012.
B&ES believes that the imposition of standard-rate VAT would only serve to undermine Government initiatives designed to maximise the contribution a revitalised construction sector could make to the economic health of the nation.