Phew, that’s a relief. Finally the government has got hold of this financial crisis by the short and curlies and sorted it out. The wonderful and original VAT cut will propel us out of recession and back into boom time. Trebles all round!
Hang on, wasn’t this all about selling houses? Now, last time I looked, there’s no VAT on new or old house sales, so, er, how will this stimulate the market? Obviously everyone will have a bit more money in their pocket, that they could put towards a deposit, er, maybe? It’ll please the FMB, who have long lobbied for the removal of VAT on domestic refurb work. 2.5% down, just 15 to go lads. Keep lobbying.
But at least there’s £3bn of public sector work being ‘brought forward’ for everyone to fill their boots from. Oh yes, all those schools, roads, pavements, drains… that’ll ensure we get through this recession with a construction industry still capable of functioning.
It might, as long as we really do bring it forward, and don’t obstruct the pace of building with bureaucratic and over-specified procurement systems weighted towards larger companies (who are sometimes foreign-owned, and keen on repatriating profits). No, our government would never do that.
First appeared in Construction News, December 4 2008