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Long-time member and director of the GGF since January 2008, Alan Burgess, managing director of Masterframe Windows Ltd, has stepped down as Chair of the Home Improvement Executive as from the end of July.

Alan explained that the post of HIE chair – which requires Fensa, BFRC and GGF board attendance and carries heavy responsibilities if it is to deliver the results that membership rightfully expects. “If the job is to be carried out effectively, it does need to be a full-time role,” he said.

“Representing the interests of all GGF members - often with opposing views - has been challenging yet immensely interesting,” he added. “I hope that most members feel that the Federation has moved on considerably in the last four and

a half years and is now set firm to deliver the results that will serve them well in the coming years.”

Alan emphasised that, although

he remains a keen supporter of the GGF and the work it does for members, it is the increasing amount of time it requires that led to his decision. As well as his GGF directorships, he has a number of other commercial interests, including Masterframe Windows Ltd, the review website doubleglazingcompanies. com which he devised and launched, and intends to grow -

plus numerous IT developments and website opportunities for his growing network of Bygone sash window installers, in advance of next year’s FIT show.

In his letter to the GGF Alan wished them every success as they face yet more bureaucratic demands from central Government, such as the Green Deal, ADL 2013 and CE marking.

Looking ahead, he said that he considered the biggest challenge he sees the Federation facing, is the policing of an industry in which “a significant quantity of companies, either embellish the truth, massage the figures or mislead the public over the actual products being installed and their true window energy ratings.”

Nigel Rees, GGF Group Chief Executive said: “We

are extremely grateful for all the time and effort that Alan has been able to give not just to the GGF but the whole GGF Group. He has helped to continue the momentum of advancing the needs and support of the window industry. We are always mindful of the time and commitment that Members give to the Federation, especially office holders, which is invaluable to allow us to fully represent the Industry, but understand that this commitment has to be balanced with the needs of their companies.”

Te GGF Home Improvement

Executive and Window and Door Group and Conservatory Association is due to meet shortly to decide who will be voted in as the new Chairman of the GGF Home Improvement Executive.


Te GGF has responded to recent comments made by David Gauke MP who criticised cash in hand payments made to tradesmen.

‘paying cash in hand is something that is a big cost to the Revenue ’

Mr Gauke, the Exchequer Secretary to

the Treasury, said: “Getting a discount with your plumber by paying cash in hand is something that is a big cost to the Revenue and means others have to pay more in tax. I think it is morally wrong. It is not illegal for the plumber but it is pretty implicit in those circumstances that there is a reason why there is a discount for cash. Tat is a large part of the hidden economy.”

But Nigel Rees, GGF Group Chief

Executive said, “Paying a tradesman or company cash in hand is a fully acceptable method of payment if the tradesman or company is paying the taxes. With bank

charges and credit card charges increasing and the banks trying to remove the cheque system, it is inevitable more people will prefer to pay cash. However, a homeowner paying a tradesman or company cash does not equate to the tradesman or company not paying tax.”

According to a report by the Public

Accounts Committee, more than two million people make cash-in-hand payments costing the Treasury an estimated £2 billion. Tere is no law against paying someone in cash, but tradesmen are under a legal obligation to disclose their earnings to HMRC and say whether they are liable for income tax or VAT.

Nigel Rees continued, “Perhaps if the

Treasury cut the VAT on maintenance and home improvement work from 20% to 5% rating, then homeowners might not be tempted to pay cash and companies could be less inclined to offer cash payment discounts. In addition to the current unfair VAT issues, the incoming Consequential Improvements within Building Regulations 2013 will add a further 10% surcharge on a homeowner’s

bill for building work, which could see the informal economy growing even more as a result.”

HMRC is planning an amnesty to encourage cash-in-hand builders and general tradesmen to pay their fair share of tax. Under the amnesty, workmen who admit they have avoided tax will face reduced penalties of £200 plus a fine equivalent to 10 per cent of unpaid tax. Anyone refusing the “last chance” offer will face criminal prosecution if they are subsequently found not to have paid what they owe.

‘workmen who admit they have avoided tax will face reduced penalties of £200’

Previous similar operations have targeted home tutors and eBay traders, and have pulled in an extra £500 million in tax since 2007.

Clearview NMS « September 2012 « » 27

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