The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has successfully helped to change legislation to reduce the VAT rate from 15% to 5% on all home maintenance and repairs.

The decision to allow EU Member States to lower VAT to 5% on some goods and services including home maintenance was taken earlier this week by European Finance Ministers.

RIBA has been lobbying to reduce the rate as part of attempts to help architects survive the recession.

“This announcement is potentially excellent news marking a significant step forward in our campaign to cut remissions and help the profession and the industry work through the recession, while also reducing fuel poverty, said RIBA President Sunand Prasad.

Prasad also calls for ‘a large refurbishment programme to tackle climate change’ to happen immediately to help mitigate the impact of the global financial crisis on architects.

In a statement RIBA said “We urge the Government to reduce VAT on refurbishment immediately. The Government has released its heat and energy strategy consultation which looks at how homeowners will retrofit their homes. A reduction in VAT would make this more of a reality in persuading home owners to take action.”

By staff writer.