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Calls for cut in VAT on repairs as homeowners batten down the hatches

Two severe flood warnings remain in place for the South West. Forecasters are predicting a drier week across the UK - but warned of further heavy rain and high winds in some parts on Thursday. We take a look at how Britain's homeowners are responding and call for a cut in VAT on all repairs.

As floods and severe weather conditions continue to affect many parts of the UK, record numbers of homeowners are searching not only for flood recovery tradesmen, but damp and waterproofing experts as well in a move to protect their homes.

TrustMark, the Government endorsed quality mark for expert tradesmen, has seen the number of searches for flood protection services more than double since the bad weather began. Homeowners are using the Trustmark search function to find expert flood recovery specialists.

And with the bad weather set to continue, more and more homeowners are seeking to prevent flood damage before it even occurs: damp proofing and timber treatment specialists were a sought-after trade this past month.

Stuart Carter, Head of PR & Marketing at TrustMark, said: ‘As the bad weather continues, more and more homeowners are realising the value of using high-quality protection services before the weather is at its worst. Repairing your home after devastating damage from floods and high winds is never easy, but it is clear that homeowners are really seeing the importance of preparing for the worst as seasonal extreme weather becomes the norm in the UK.’

With more than 8,000 properties flooded or storm damaged, and with building work along with the cost of replacement ­furniture, carpets and household goods charged at 20 per cent VAT, there were claims over the weekend that last month’s bad weather will leave the Government with an £85million windfall.

Brian Berry, chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders, said: “A reduction in VAT on building work to five per cent would immediately aid those most desperately in need.”

Paula Higgins at the HomeOwners Alliance supported this proposal, saying “It’s unfair for the Treasury to take 20% out of homeowner’s pockets as they struggle to repair their homes.”

“With so many homeowners effected by the floods the government needs to do all it can to reduce the financial burden at this stressful time. We can help people find reputable tradesmen and show them how to avoid the rogue traders, but the government needs to do the right thing – make flood repair work more affordable by cutting the VAT”.

 

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