VAT plan for new houses under fire

LIBERAL Democrat plans to add VAT to new homes have been attacked by Scottish housebuilders.

The party was also accused of making it harder for first-time buyers to get on the housing ladder.

The Lib Dems' Scottish manifesto also included plans to re-establish the Bank of Scotland, provide 400 million for shipyards, bring 25,000 homes back into use, and put 300 additional police on the streets.

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It wants the VAT added to new build properties to equal those on old ones, which means bringing the former up from zero and the latter down.

The Conservatives estimate it would add 14,119 to an average Scottish home costing 201,701.

Jonathan Fair, chief executive of Homes for Scotland, said: "Any measure increasing the cost of new homes, whether in the public or private sector, is sheer madness."

Meanwhile, Lib Dem MP Alistair Carmichael dismissed suggestions a Labour-Lib Dem coalition was becoming increasingly likely. "What I think is increasingly more likely is a Lib Dem government," he said.