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Nick Clegg: VAT cut on refurbs 'too expensive'

Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has told the AJ that a cut in VAT for refurbishment and retrofit work was ‘too expensive’

Speaking last night at Whitehall to a group of leading BSME editors, including the AJ’s Christine Murray, the Liberal Democrats leader also ruled out Murray’s call for tax deductable childcare.

However, he admitted that the UK spent more money on childcare than anyone but Switzerland and said the issue was about how that money was being spent. He said ‘as a father of three’ he would be working on the issue of childcare this year.

Later, in a speech, Clegg said he would be introducing 15 hours of free childcare a week for two-year-olds of mothers on low incomes.

Murray said his response to the VAT cut was ‘disappointing and shortsighted’, as a cut in VAT would boost the construction industry, an economic driver of the whole country.

Murray added that Clegg’s comments on childcare didn’t ‘adequately respect the contribution working mothers make to the economy, both in tax, and in the job creation of low-skill jobs such as childminding, nannies and nursery positions.’

Readers' comments (1)

  • Strange that he should think a VAT cut is too expensive when it would seem very likely that the increased take in tax paid due to a reduction in the black economy would more than offset the reduction in VAT.

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