I heard the bells on Christmas Day. Their old familiar carols play. And wild and sweet the words repeat. Of peace on earth goodwill to men.
Dear Father Christmas
I’d like to think I’ve been good-ish this year so I think I deserve to be on your nice list.
Here’s what I’d like to see you bring me for Christmas.
1. A proper, useful, workable boost to the housing and building markets. Like, for example, a reduction in VAT on housing repair, maintenance and improvement work from the eye-watering 20% to something more akin to the rate charged on energy and insulation – 5%.
2. Someone to ensure the EU butts out of UK business and lets us keep said rate of 5% on energy-saving products.
3. A Government that recognises the fact that every £1 spent on construction generates £2.84 in total economic activity. And that, having recognised this fact, actually does something about it (see point 1 above).
4. An efficient, integrated, affordable transport system so I don’t have to get in the car all the time.
5. Recognition that the best people to deliver such energy-saving initiatives as the Green Deal are the people who are household-facing – the independent plumbers and heating installers and, by association, the builders and plumbers merchants that serve them.
6. Recognition from the Government and the wider mainstream media that builders merchants are neither huge building contractors nor jobbing builders, still less are they manufacturers and that they do, in fact, serve a vital, pivotal role in ensuring the right products get to the right place, in the right order at the right time. Oh and providing much needed credit while they are doing so.
7. More importantly, of course, especially this week, I’d like you to bring me a world where it is impossible for whack-jobs to get hold of military-grade weapons and slaughter school children.
8. I’d like people to start taking their litter and rubbish home with them instead of leaving it wherever they happen to be.
Although, I can quite see that some of my wish-list might take a little time to get organised, so I’m happy to wait a bit for some of it.
Just not too long. OK?