Under pressure from the building industry, the government has delayed the introduction of new VAT rules. The changes – which had been due to be made on the 1st of October – meant that customers would pay the VAT directly to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) rather than to the supplier of the building works. The industry warned that the loss of the 20% VAT payments might “cripple” some firms. Building.

Shareholders are up in arms about the Berkeley Group’s decision to pay its chief executives some £32 million in bonuses at a time when company profits are falling. A vote condemning the group’s pay policy was supported by 43% of shareholders. Daily Mail.

In other news, the Berkeley Group commented on the first four months’ of its current financial year and welcomed “robust” market conditions in London and the southeast, where prices also remain stable. Reuters.

Whereas Chief Executives in the building and construction industries may expect annual salaries of between £2.1 million and £5.7 million, ordinary workers in those same companies might expect to be paid an average of £24,964 a year, claims a Labour MP, citing figures produced by the High Pay Centre. Inside Housing.

In a move to improve fire safety standards in all buildings, the government is considering new rules requiring sprinklers to be fitted in any new building taller than 18 metres as opposed to the current limit of 30 metres and above. The proposals are currently out to consultation. Housing Today.

At least one major housebuilder – Redrow – has expressed concerns about the impact and aftermath of the scheduled ending of the Help to Buy scheme in 2023. The impact is likely to be most felt in London, where uptake of the scheme has recently been most buoyant. Property Reporter.

Various spokesmen for the housing sector have expressed dismay at the Chancellor, Sajid Javid’s failure to give greater priority to government support for the industry in his latest Spending Round of budgets for 2020 and 2021. Financial support for housing places far behind that promised for health and education, say critics. Inside Housing.

An overall increase of £3.5 billion for local government spending – announced in the Chancellor’s Spending Round – for example, is criticised as being “too little, too late”. Labour List.

Willmott Partnership Homes – the housing division of contractors Willmott Dixon – is locked in a dispute with Hackney Borough Council in London, over alleged construction defects in Bridport House. The block was part of the Colville estate masterplan and was built by Willmott in 2011. Building.

Homes UK – whose mission is to deliver high-quality homes for all – holds its annual conference from the 27th to the 28th of November at London’s ExCeL Centre, Royal Victoria Dock. Registrations are now open – and are free. Homes UK.

A long-delayed roll out by the DWP of bulk uploads of Universal Credit data is still only at the testing stage. The department had promised housing associations as long ago as February that measures would be put in place to allow them to file rent cost changes in bulk with DWP. Inside Housing.

Housebuilder Barratt’s recently announced pre-tax profits of £910 million have been achieved partly by increasing the proportion of its new homes built using modern methods of construction (MMC). In the past three years, it has built more than 5,000 new dwellings constructed with timber frames. Building.

Political uncertainty and the delay in reaching a deal on Brexit are blamed for the biggest slump in the construction industry in a decade. New research shows that new orders in the building sector are at their lowest since 2009. CityAM.

Local councils have been told by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) that they must reveal the amount they have received from developers under community infrastructure levies (CILs). This is so that residents understand just how much is being spent on essential infrastructure such as schools and roads. Housing Today