I HAVE run a building firm for 37 years employing six tradesmen and two apprentices at any one time as well as subcontractors. The introduction of VAT on materials and labour nearly ruined my business.

I found all the private work dried up and was kept afloat by work for councils and the church commissioners.

I firmly believe if we want to create jobs we must remove VAT from labour and drop VAT to ten per cent on materials or goods Also a working person should be able to earn £300 before income tax.

Everyone would win. Employers would have money in the bank to employ more people.

The Government would win by not having to pay out benefits and give millions to the banks.

There would be more revenue from High Street sales, tourists, pubs, catering and restaurants.

Subsidiary jobs and wealth would be created by new businesses.

The small builders would begin employing tradesmen and apprentices.

Every job done would create more jobs in other areas eg carpets, white goods, decoration and furniture etc.

I say to the Government: do not take money at source.

Richard Parker, Spennymoor.