Budget 2011: Cut VAT on RMI

Published:  23 February, 2011

LONDON: Next month's Budget should slash VAT on repair and maintenance work to boost the struggling construction sector.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has added its voice to the clamour calling for a VAT stimulus.

The property organisation says RMI work is particularly affected by the VAT increase, which went up from 17.5% to 20% last month.

The organisation also argues that the rise will encourage tax avoidance since more jobs will be done by cash in hand, which could put homeowners more at risk of getting tangled up with "cowboy builders".

The demand was among those laid out by RICS in its pre-Budget submission to the Treasury, which aims to encourage growth in the housing and commercial property sectors.

Mark Goodwin, director of external affairs at RICS, said: "This Budget provides the Government with a chance to encourage growth and innovation in construction and property, providing much needed jobs, tackling the housing shortage and ensuring that businesses have a continuing supply of high-quality premises."

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