Building Safety Levy proposed for Scotland

The Scottish government has secured powers from Westminster to introduce a tax to fix unsafe cladding in the country.

The proposed measures mirror the Building Safety Levy introduced by the Building Safety Act 2022 in England, which aims to raise an estimated £5bn from developers responsible for unsafe buildings to fix them.

Funds raised through the levy would support the Scottish government’s cladding remediation programme.

The Scottish Building Safety Levy would also tax developers to raise funds to help remediate building safety issues. It would apply to the construction of new residential buildings.

The UK government will now legislate to devolve the necessary powers to the Scottish Parliament to introduce the levy. 

Details of its operation will be developed through consultation and engagement with the UK government and the housebuilding sector.

A step in the right direction

The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) welcomed the proposals but called for an assessment of how the levy will impact SMEs and consumers.

“We are supportive of the introduction of a Building Safety Levy for Scotland and believe responsibility for its creation and ongoing operation should be devolved to Scottish government, which must undertake meaningful engagement with the construction sector,” said Jocelyne Fleming, policy and public affairs officer for CIOB in Scotland.

“This decision could lead to a much-needed new system to ensure appropriate funds are raised to support the country’s cladding remediation programme and will allow buildings in Scotland to take priority.

“It is, however, vital that careful consideration is given to how such a levy will impact SMEs and what measures can be put in place to ensure the levy costs are not passed on to consumers.”

Deputy first minister and finance secretary, Shona Robison, said: “I know that developers share this determination and have made significant progress to date. 

“However, it is clear more needs to be done and these powers will ensure that developers make a fair contribution to address building safety defects in Scotland, just as the UK government is asking them to do in England. I welcome the UK government’s collaborative approach on this issue. 

“It is important that we also continue working side by side with developers. To that end, and in line with our New Deal for Business and Framework for Tax, we will now liaise with the sector to ensure this levy best contributes to our mission of keeping people safe.”

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