Builders call for cut in VAT

The government should slash VAT on home improvements to five per cent, said materials supplier Wickes today, in order to chop the wedge between “cowboy builders” and honest tradesmen. Wickes says that pricing pressures are driving consumers to hiring less reputable builders at prices that those who pay tax cannot offer. A five per cent VAT rate for contractors would wind down this evasion almost overnight, it said.