Cut VAT, Plumbers Call

The campaign to cut the VAT from 17.5% to 5% has just added a powerful new member. The Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors (APHC) has recently joined the cross-industry ‘Cut the VAT Coalition’.

The Coalition aims to persuade the government to cut the VAT rate for building repair and maintenance work from the current rate of 17.5% to 5%. The Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors is particularly interested in the change as it would undermine rogue plumbers who do not charge VAT and offer more attractive prices to the public.

The Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors argues that the cut will reduce the number of rogue plumbers and still offer substantial benefits to the general public struggling to renovate their homes, improve their central heating systems or replace an old boiler.

The 17.5% VAT rate on plumbing and maintenance work is particularly damaging the weak parts of the population, the APHC said, and prevents them from maintaining their homes.

Clive Dickin, Chief Executive of the Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors said: “A cut in VAT to 5% means using a rogue plumber would not be as attractive anymore. Other European countries have already done that with success. We are asking the government to be bold and forward-thinking and embrace the idea.

The loss of revenue to the Treasury of 12.5% will be more than offset by the revenue from the public choosing to use VAT registered plumbers and engineers thus eliminating the lost revenues at the moment.