A 5% rate will create jobs and help housing, says Grahame Barn
Each year nearly 90,000 householders have around £170 million stolen from them by rogue traders.
While we might picture an elderly grandmother being tricked out of her life savings, in fact it happens to people of all ages, from all walks of life.
These traders are experts in lulling us into a false sense of security.
They often promise low prices in return for cash payments – effectively dodging the 20 per cent VAT paid by legitimate business people.
When they fail to deliver quality services, homeowners are left with no right of redress.There’s little doubt in the building industry that the high VAT rate contributes to this problem. 20 per cent VAT on home improvement work just doesn’t make sense for our economy, our environment, or our security.
It has encouraged rogue traders, while stifling growth in the legitimate construction industry.
The Scottish economy is facing a weak recovery from the recent recession – and the construction industry has fared worse than the economy as a whole during the last few years.
It was particularly badly affected by the recession, and recent forecasts suggest that it will show no significant signs of a recovery until 2014.
In Scotland, tens of thousands of direct and indirect construction jobs were lost during the height of the recession.
This is terrible news for the government’s finances as well as for those individuals affected.
Moreover, unless the industry can recruit and train sufficient people now, there will be a serious skills shortage in future years.