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BMF opposes change to Building Regulations

The Builders Merchants’ Federation has opposed the Welsh Government’s proposals to change the Building Regulations.

The government in Cardiff wants to change Part L of the Welsh Regulations that relate to fuel and power.

The intention is to introduce energy-efficiency consequential improvements on voters when they have property extensions or conversions done in the future.

Responding to a consultation exercise, the BMF formally opposed the proposals because it believes trying to force voters in this way is heavy-handed and counter-productive.

The merchants’ organisation told officials in Cardiff that imposing further regulation is not sensible when the housebuilding and home improvement industries remain in a double-dip recession.

The BMF said anything that makes extensions and conversions more expensive will reduce trading activity for merchants.

The federation has said the idea will deter families and businesses from spending – meaning lower sales for merchants and less work for builders and allied trades.

Although the Welsh Government has no VAT powers, the BMF urged Cardiff to accept it is wrong to apply 5 per cent VAT on energy consumption but 20 per cent VAT for energy conservation.

The federation believes there is a compelling case to review current VAT rules and rates if Wales moves towards adopting more low- or zero-carbon building standards.

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