Association continues to lead assault on rogue plumbers The Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors (APHC) has become a key player in the cross-industry "Cut the VAT Coalition". The Coalition aims to persuade Government to cut VAT from 17.5% to 5% on all building repair and maintenance work.
The benefits of doing this are enormous and widespread, with APHC particularly interested in the damage it could do to rogue traders who ignore VAT in order to charge a lower price. With VAT at only 5%, their price advantage over qualified engineers would be minimal and using them would become far less attractive. The Cut the VAT Coalition says a cut would not only help eliminate the rogue traders who fleeced the British public of over £1.3 billion in 2006, but it would also directly benefit the millions of people struggling to renovate their dwellings from a state of disrepair and the four million families who struggle to heat their homes.
The current high rate of VAT on building repair and maintenance work prevents people, particularly those on low-incomes, from maintaining their homes.
The Coalition has already succeeded in putting an Early Day Motion before the House of Commons, which has received the backing of 76 MPs so far. In addition, early discussions with the Treasury have been positive and the Government appears willing to listen. APHC has uploaded a letter to its website for as many people in the industry as possible to copy and send to their local MP, encouraging them to sign the Early Day Motion. (To find your local MP click here) The Coalition hopes to keep its campaign in the public and political eye and has already had a letter published in The Times on 11 March, signed by all organisations in the group.
APHC's Chief Executive, Clive Dickin, comments: "A cut in VAT to 5% means using a rogue trader simply wont be as attractive any more because the cut in VAT will close the gap in pricing between the reputable plumber and the rogue. This has already happened in other European countries with some success so we are asking the Government to be bold and forward-thinking, and embrace this idea. "While the Treasury may be concerned about loss of revenue resulting from a 12.5% cut in VAT, I believe it will actually increase their revenue because people will choose to use proper, registered plumbers who pay their VAT rather than rogues who slip under the radar."
As well as APHC, other members of the coalition are: Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the Bathroom Manufacturers Association, the FMB, the Civic Trust, the Countryside Alliance, the Empty Homes Agency, House Beautiful magazine, the National Home Improvement Council and the National Landlords Association.