Downing Street ditching conservatory tax?

A building group is criticising the Government for considering a u-turn over the Green Deal. The Green Building Council says Government should keep the clause in the scheme which means […]

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By Vicky Ellis

A building group is criticising the Government for considering a u-turn over the Green Deal.

The Green Building Council says Government should keep the clause in the scheme which means homeowners would have to install efficiency measures if they wanted to change their boiler or extend their homes.

With the Green Deal currently under consultation, this clause has attracted a lot of negative attention with some dubbing it a “conservatory tax”.

Today MP Stewart Jackson suggested though MPs of all parties were generally in favour of the Green Deal’s measures, people were becoming unhappy with the “horse trading between parties” in the Coalition which he suggested has led to the “draconian” levy of 10% on householders.

There have been rumblings this morning that Downing Street is considering ditching the so-called ‘conservatory tax’.

But the UK Green Building Council has roundly criticised this idea, saying Government should “look beyond the ludicrous media headlines.”

Paul King, CEO of the UK Green Building Council said: “If these plans are to be scrapped as reports are suggesting, this is another u-turn that shows once and for all that a majority of ministers in this Government have no backbone on green issues, even when they save people money and are good for the economy.”

While Grand Designs presenter and architectural expert Kevin McCloud said the plans to require homeowners to improve the energy efficiency of their home when they build an extension “are about as sensible as sensible gets”.

He said: “First, under proposals, conservatories below 30 square metres in size are exempt. Second, common sense prevails in that if projected energy savings fall below the cost of improvements, the homeowner can legitimately refuse to carry them out. Third, the improvements will be eligible for generous Green Deal funding.”

DECC has dismissed the notion it is a “conservatory tax”, with a spokesperson complaining conservatories weren’t even included in the consultation document.