Osborne urged to 'end dithering' on green construction

The Chancellor George Osborne must use the 2013 budget to end the uncertainty over zero carbon homes and commit to boosting the Green Deal, the UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) has warned.

Osborne, who will deliver the budget statement on Wednesday 20 March, has been urged by the UK-GBC to provide a lift for the struggling construction sector by demonstrating the Coalition's commitment to energy efficiency. 

The organisation has called on the Treasury to include incentives in the budget to encourage uptake of the Green Deal - the Government's flagship energy efficiency retrofit policy. For example, it claims that including reductions in stamp duty or council tax for energy efficient properties will make the scheme more attractive to householders.

In addition, the UK-GBC has called for clear commitment from the Government to ensure all homes are zero carbon from 2016, and all commercial properties are zero carbon from 2019.

UK-GBC chief executive Paul King said: "Ending the dithering on zero carbon homes once and for all and throwing the Treasury's weight behind the Green Deal would show that the Coalition is serious about the opportunity here."

The UK-GBC also demanded a strengthening of the Part L building regulations, dubbed the 'conservatory tax' and for clarity on 'Allowable Solutions' - the policy which enables developers to invest in carbon mitigation schemes.

King added: "A focus on green growth would boost the construction industry's confidence to invest and create jobs, as well as helping the UK to meet its legally binding carbon targets.

"We've heard David Cameron talk up energy efficiency and the green economy, but the Budget is the Chancellor's opportunity to demonstrate that he is singing from the same hymn sheet. We need an end to mixed messages which create a risky and damaging environment for business."

Conor McGlone


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