Firms charged with stripping combustible cladding from their buildings shouldn’t have to pay VAT, according to Scottish Government housing minister Kevin Stewart.
He has written to Mel Stride, financial secretary to the Treasury, calling for VAT exemption on work to remove aluminium composite material of the sort used in the disaster-hit Grenfell Tower.
Mr Stewart said:“For those living in high rise buildings with this type of cladding it has been a period of incredible upheaval and uncertainty as they wait for all the necessary partners to agree a way forward.
“I want to thank them for their patience, as well as all of those involved across councils, construction firms, residents organisations and others who have worked together to resolve the issues that became apparent in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire.
“We welcome the recent announcement that the UK Government will fund replacement cladding for social high rise domestic buildings, however that funding will not be extended to owners of private high rise buildings.
“This means that in order to make their homes safe, individual owners will need to fund the full cost of replacing unsafe combustible cladding.
“These costs run into millions of pounds and are made considerably higher as VAT is payable on this category of repair works.
“Hundreds of buildings and thousands of individuals across the UK are affected by this”.
He added: “It perturbs me that we find ourselves in a situation where repair work directly linked to the replacement of ACM cladding, in order to ensure the long term fire safety of residents, will ultimately result in additional revenue to HM Treasury”.