Don’t worry guys, this would never actually happen. I’d want three kitchens in my home but the media would rip me apart! No, instead, this is a topical look at some of the things I would like to see for our industry from the upcoming General Election. A list of initiatives that I would ear-mark for our own industry.

5% VAT for energy efficient windows and doors

If you sell boilers, cavity wall insulation, boilers and many other energy efficient home improvements, you’ll be treated to a generous 5% VAT rate. What a boost to your industry that must be. Yet in our little corner of the home improvement market, energy efficient windows are still slapped with the hefty 20% VAT rate. This is despite windows and doors forming the very fabric of every home on these great shores.

If I became PM, I’d lower VAT on energy efficient windows straight to 5%. However it would have to be on windows A rated or better. No point promoting B or C rated windows. Which sort of leads on to my next idea…

Scrap the Green Deal

By my reckoning, lowering VAT on windows to 5% will provide a rather decent boost to the window industry. In which case, there would be no reason for windows and doors to be included in the Green Deal.

In fact, I’d scrap the whole thing altogether. It’s been a total shambles from start to finish. Actual work levels from the scheme are paltry at best. The companies who have spring up to take care of Green Deal assessments won’t agree with me, but they are the only ones to have benefited from this. I can’t honestly say any other industry has genuinely benefited.

I’d focus on ways to improve and refine the existing methods of purchasing windows and doors. The current system works, why create something new to replace something that already works?

Give FENSA teeth

When you look at FENSA, they are the biggest body when it comes to member numbers. They are the biggest self regulating body. They have access to the biggest section of the residential market. Installers registered with FENSA have to abide by certain rules and regs. But many don’t, we all know it. And we all complain that FENSA doesn’t have the reach it should.

So, to help try and regulate our industry more forcefully, because Trading Standards won’t, I’d fund FENSA directly from Government and charge a reduced rate for installers to be members. FENSA would be granted much more money to spend directly on cutting the crap out of our industry. In fact I could do that to all self-certifying schemes. If Trading Standards is going to crumble away, our industry will need something to try and protect it from itself.

Of course these are ideas from a purely selfish perspective, and policies specific just for our own industry. But I think these would be points that could really benefit out industry. The 5% VAT I feel especially strong about. We so often get ignored when it comes to home improvement products and for no obvious reason. Windows and doors are a vital part of the fabric of every single building in this country, so why should they be ignored when it comes to VAT incentives?

What would you like to see for our industry from a hypothetical sense? All comments welcome in the section below.

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