16 Apr

Help housing with range of measures, Darling urged

Help housing with range of measures, Darling urged

The property sector should be helped to recover through a wide range of measures that could be introduced in the Budget, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has argued.

FMB policy manager Peter O'Connell said that the introduction of council tax rebates for those refurbishing empty homes could help bring some of the 943,000 residences lying idle in the UK back into use.

Lowering the cost of VAT for renovation work to five per cent could also help achieve this aim, he suggested.

Mr O'Connell said action to improve lending to businesses is also required, as this would support small construction firms, as well as reforms of stamp duty to encourage first-time buyers.

Last month the National Housing Federation warned that housebuilding was on course to fall to 70,000 in the current financial year, the lowest number since 1921.

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