16th July 2009 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The threat of household energy bills raising by £250.00 or more a year as part of the Government’s green future needs to be off-set by a cut in VAT to five percent for all energy efficient upgrades to help householders make their homes more energy efficient and greener, says the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).
Responding to the Government’s ‘Renewable Energy Strategy’ released yesterday which aims to cut carbon emissions by 34 percent by 2020, Brian Berry Director of External Affairs at the FMB said:
“Expecting householders to pay an extra £250 a year when we know that there are already nearly five million people living in fuel poverty is very worrying. A far better and fairer way to help householders make their homes greener would be to cut VAT to five percent for all repair and maintenance work which would then be available to everyone and simple to administer.”
“The Government’s proposal that seven million households will take on extra debt by taking advantage of ‘green loans’ to improve heating and insulation almost beggars belief when most families are struggling to pay the mortgage or keep afloat in the recession. If the Government is serious about creating a greener economy it should be doing more to encourage, not discourage, people to make their homes more energy efficient.”
“A range of fiscal incentives such as a cut in VAT or a reduction in Council Tax would be far more helpful than expecting householders to take on extra debt.”