The Government "will not hesitate" to introduce a developers' tax to hit firms responsible for dangerous cladding in residential buildings if they do not volunteer to fix safety defects, housing and communities secretary Michael Gove has said.

It brings an end to a controversial scheme in which the Government covered the costs for buildings taller than 18m, but required leaseholders in small buildings to take out loans to pay for the works.

The housing and communities secretary estimates an additional £4bn is needed to fund the work.

Any potential new tax would come in addition to the 4% residential property developer tax announced in Autumn Budget 2021, which the Treasury predicted would collect £1.125bn over the next five years.

Gove said:

"We will use legal means and the tax system to ensure those who are responsible for the upkeep of these buildings pay rather than the leaseholders, the individuals, who in the past were being asked to pay with money they didn't have for a problem that they did not cause."

Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation said:

"The largest UK based house builders, who only built a minority of the affected buildings, have already spent or committed approaching £1bn to remediate affected buildings and the residential property developer tax will raise billions more.

"We will engage directly with the Government but any further solutions must be proportionate, and involve those who actually built affected buildings and specified, certificated and provided the defective materials on them."

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