THE ROYAL Institution of Chartered Surveyors called on the government to support the construction industry and housing in particular yesterday in its pre-Budget letter to the Treasury.
RICS said the sector accounted for more than 1.4m jobs in the UK, and that VAT exemptions, more affordable homes and simpler government procurement is needed in the next Budget to aid growth.
RICS said the government should make an effort to attract large investors to residential property, through tax changes and also by broadening access to the real estate investment trust (REIT) structure to include housing.
It estimated that the VAT rise to 20 per cent could cost the construction sector up to 34,000 jobs by 2019, adding that repair work on homes should be subject to a reduced rate.
Director of external affairs Mark Goodwin said house-building is at a “desperately low level”.