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VAT cut is crucial to ensure Green Deal success

The Energy Bill report stage begins tomorrow with campaigners warning that the government’s Green Deal proposals will only succeed if the rate of VAT for energy efficiency improvements is cut.

Supporters of the Cut the VAT campaign, including the UK Green Building Council, the National Federation of Builders and British Property Federation are among the 27 organisations campaigning for reduced VAT.

As the Energy Bill goes to report stage, the campaigners said consumers will be reluctant to take up the Green Deal without reduced VAT.

Federation of Master Builders director of external affairs Brian Berry said: “At a time when energy prices are soaring the need to make our homes more energy efficient has never been so urgent.

“It is critical that the Green Deal is a success but it needs to be attractive to consumers who may be reluctant to have a ‘charge’ attached to their property.”

The Cut the VAT campaign supporters have signed a joint statement urging MPs from all parties to ask the government to reduce the rate of VAT to 5 per cent for all Green Deal approved measures in order to begin to stimulate demand.

The Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru have already signed up to the campaign.

Mr Berry added: “Our homes contribute 27 per cent of the UK’s total carbon emissions and 85 per cent of our existing homes will still be standing in 2050 so it is imperative that homeowners are encouraged to make their homes more energy efficient if the UK is to achieve its legal target to cut carbon emissions by 80% by 2050.

“Businesses also need to be reassured that there is demand for Green Deal work if they are to invest in new energy efficient work because in the in the current economic climate many firms can’t afford to start training their workforce until they know there is a growing demand for energy efficient home improvements.”

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