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Autumn Statement response from FMB

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has responded to the chancellor's Autumn Statement and argued George Osborne has missed a "golden opportunity" to promote greater home energy efficiency across the UK.FMB chief executive Brian Berry stated that in his opinion, while there were a number of positives for the UK construction and green sectors in the Autumn Statement, one of the most beneficial measures for boosting the uptake of green improvements was missed.He argued a reduction in VAT on green materials would deliver "an instant economic fillip" for homeowners up and down the country, as well as providing a considerable boost to house builders.Mr Berry noted: "For example a 15 per cent reduction in the rate of VAT on insulation and double glazing would represent a significant saving to the customer and empower homeowners to protect against spiralling energy bills."With energy costs an increasing concern for many property owners, measures that could help individuals to reduce their monthly spending in this area would be entirely welcomed.Moreover, Mr Berry suggested a proportion of the £4 billion that is annually raised through carbon taxes be transferred into a mass programme of energy efficiency for homes up and down the country would be a positive step in the right direction.However, with the government considering a reduction in support for the Energy Companies Obligation and the ongoing well-publicised difficulties concerning the Green Deal, this is an area that is a deep concern for many developers and energy efficiency materials providers at present.Overall, the FMB was pleased to see the chancellor raise the cap on local authority borrowing by £300 million, but the organisation believes more focused measures are now required to tackle what it perceives to be decades of underfunding in the UK's ageing housing infrastructure.In conclusion, Mr Berry stated: "The chancellor has missed an opportunity to reduce VAT on housing renovation and repair." 

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