It’s been a long time in coming, and long expected by a lot of industries, but today the Government announced that it was to stop funding the Green Deal, therefore officially putting an end to the scheme that the previous coalition Government flimsily introduced.
“there will be no further funding”
It seemed odd timing to announce the ending of the scheme while Parliament was not sitting, but this was part of the statement that the Government released earlier on Thursday:
In light of low take-up and concerns about industry standards there will be no further funding to the Green Deal Finance Company, in a move to protect taxpayers.
The Government will work with the building industry and consumer groups on a new value-for-money approach, Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd announced today.
Presumably this scrapping is just part of a wider £20bn the Chancellor has asked all areas of Goverment to find for the new spending review. However all those involved in any level of the Green Deal knew full well that the scheme failed and was only a matter of time before it was shelved. Crucially however…
This decision has no impact on existing Green Deal Finance Plans or existing Green Deal Home Improvement Fund applications and vouchers.
So anything ongoing will be completed. I guess that any remaining funding sloshing around in the system will be used until there is no more. At that point the scheme really will be finished.
The statement also said:
Future schemes must provide better value for money, supporting the goal of insulating a million more homes over the next five years and the Government’s commitment to tackle fuel poverty.
So a hint that the Government might look to introduce a new scheme. What form that scheme might take is unknown. Perhaps if this statement was released while Parliament was still in session MPs could have had the chance to question the Government on this and find out some more information. But it is what it is and we’ll have to wait until Parliament reopens on September 7th.
If you ask me, there is no need for the window and door industry to have another scheme put to it. Right now other energy efficiency measures get the benefit of the 5% VAT rate. This is now the perfect opportunity to mount some serious pressure on the Government via all the industry bodies we have at our disposal to campaign for energy efficient windows and doors to be treated to same and have their VAT rate lowered to 5%.
There have been numerous studies in various other industries which has shown that a lowering of VAT actually gives a net benefit to that sector. The extra business it’s generates more than covers for the initial tax lost by it’s lowering. So I can’t really see a tangible reason why windows cannot be treated the same.
So far I think the attitude from the Government has been “the window industry is doing alright on it’s own, it doesn’t need help”. Well just because something is doing alright doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be given a little boost now and again.
A scheme that won’t be missed
Well, it won’t be missed by the window and door industry anyway. Back when the scheme was being planned and drawn up, the GGF campaigned hard for windows to be included in the scheme in the first place. They probably wish they hadn’t bothered now.
For other industries that did a bit better, industries like cavity wall insulation, boilers etc, this will come as bad news. There have been plenty of Green Deal assessment companies spring up in the wake of it’s introduction. Those businesses could be set to close as Green Deal work quickly dries up. Jobs will be lost.
In time, the Green Deal will be seen as time, money and effort well wasted. Whatever comes next, I seriously hope that the Government goes to the various industries and truly listens to what they are told.
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