Plaid Cymru have outlined a proposed VAT cut on home renovations, which could result in nearly 2,000 extra jobs in Wales by 2020 and over £47 million for the economy. Plaid Cymru Westminster candidates Hywel Williams and Ieuan Wyn Jones have made the case for a VAT cut in the construction sector to generate jobs and boost the Welsh economy.
Ahead of visiting a local building firm in Felinheli, Hywel Williams cited an independent report by Experian published in 2015 showing that such a VAT cut on home renovations would have resulted in nearly 2,000 extra jobs in Wales by 2020 and would have had a stimulus effect of £47m in 2015.
Ieuan Wyn Jones added that small businesses were the backbone of the Welsh economy and that this VAT cut would give the sector a welcome boost when the UK leaves the EU.
Hywel Williams said:
“A targeted reduction in VAT could bring with it many tangible economic, social and environmental benefits.
“As an independent report by Experian showed in 2015, had the VAT cut been introduced then, it would have resulted in 1,987 extra jobs in Wales by 2020 and would have had a stimulus effect of £47m in 2015.
"There is no VAT on new build, which is often the more expensive option. We have an old housing stock in Wales and renovation is a better option in so many ways – greener, more socially cohesive and less wasteful of resources.
"An expensive new build, say for well off people in the southeast of England is VAT free. A renovation of say a terraced house in Wales for a young couple on a low income is clobbered with 20 % VAT. This anomaly is clearly unfair and hits Wales hard because of the nature of our housing stock."
Ieuan Wyn Jones added:
“The construction industry employs more than 100,000 workers in Wales.
“SMEs are the backbone of our economy so increasing growth in this area would be felt the length and breadth of Wales.
“At present, we don't have the power to vary VAT rates but this will change when the UK leaves the EU.
“We must look at practical, creative ways of defending Wales and its economy as we prepare to leave the European Union. This policy is just one aspect of how we can do that.”