With the economy very much ‘on the edge’ and looking likely to fall into recession again, our leaders are suggesting various ways of stimulating the economy. It seems likely that some form of quantitive easing will be used again, but how about being a bit more intelligent with it rather than just printing money?
More than two dozen organisations have called for an across-the-board 5% VAT rate for the green deal, instead of 20%, which they say is needed to ensure take-up of the programme to reduce carbon emissions from buildings and cut fuel bills.
The demand which has come just as the Government is finalising the green deal, has come from groups including the British Property Federation, the UK Green Building Council, environmental charity WWF and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. The green deal scheme will cover the upfront costs of a range of energy efficiency measures in homes, such as insulation, energy-efficient boilers and small-scale renewables, with homeowners paying back the money through savings on their bills.
But the groups warn the Government must do more to make energy-saving packages attractive to householders, making the green deal more affordable in order for it to be a success. A lower rate of VAT would also make it easier to meet the so-called “golden rule” in which repayments must be lower than the savings consumers make on their bills as a result of the new measures.
There is no doubt something needs to be done to attract people to energy-saving measures, recent research has shown some people can’t be bothered to add insulation to their roofs and walls despite guaranteed savings. Perhaps this would act as the catalyst?