The government has been urged to scrap the VAT tax advantages of constructing new buildings in order to help preserve Britain’s heritage.
The Commons Housing, Planning, Local Government and the Regions Committee called on deputy prime minister John Prescott to put pressure on the Treasury to harmonise the VAT treatment of new-build and refurbishment housing schemes.
The committee said in their last report before the general election that there was a risk of repeating the clearance programmes that blighted many areas of England in the past by destroying heritage and failing to replace valued old buildings with new neighbourhoods of lasting quality.
The MPs said: ‘the differential level of VAT on new-build housing and refurbishment schemes makes demolition more commercially attractive’.
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