#COVID-19: BMA ‘determined to speak to Government’ on behalf of sector

The BMA has issued the Government’s business department with a list of requests, including a call for a one-year sabbatical on business rates for all companies

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The Bathroom Manufacturers Association (BMA) has released a statement which outlines how it has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Damian Walters

The association, which has deemed its official statement as a ‘message of support’, opens by saying it is ‘determined’ to continue speaking to the Government on behalf of the bathroom sector, before detailing the requests it has already made to the CBI and the Government’s business department.

Amongst these requests, which were put forward in a letter from BMA CEO Tom Reynolds, is an appeal for the extension of support to cover sick pay to all companies, plus a call for the Government to issue a one-year sabbatical on business rates.  Reynolds also notes additionally that on top of these emergency measures, there must be large scale public investment in construction projects and a sizeable reduction of VAT on home improvement work, to stimulate the refurbishment market.

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Read the full statement below:

BMA responds to COVID-19

Right now, trade associations are needed more than ever. The Bathroom Manufacturers Association is determined to continue speaking to Government and stakeholders with the unified and energetic voice the sector needs. We’ll continue to provide our members with essential information in the way you have come to expect.

Nevertheless, the association has announced that it is temporarily changing the way it works following Government announcements. From Wednesday 18th March the BMA secretariat will all be working from home. They will still be contactable on the usual office number 01782 631619 and via email. 

The association’s committee meetings scheduled in March, April and May will now not take place in a physical format. Nevertheless, the BMA has recognised the need to keep information flowing and will proceed with the meetings online. The team will be in touch with participants with joining instructions.  

Association Chief Executive Tom Reynolds has also written to the CBI and Government’s Business Department outlining what urgent action the industry needs including: 

• extension of support to cover sick pay to all companies;

• a scheme to support rent sabbaticals on business premises, even for private companies;

• an emergency ability to defer taxation including VAT and even PAYE;

• a one-year sabbatical on business rates for all companies

Reynolds said: ‘As well as these emergency measures to support cashflow in a time of crisis, we also need an unprecedented stimulus to help our sector into the medium and long term. Large scale public investment in construction projects, particularly housing, should now go beyond the announcements in the budget. We also need a sizable reduction or removal of VAT on home improvement work, to stimulate the refurbishment market.’