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« List of rejected and accepted policies | Main | London Salmon: A new structure for London Government »

Comments

Phil Taylor

This woolly idea would just create a load of bureaucracy and poison the relationship between local councils and their residents. Who would make the assessment of what rebate was due? What happens if a wind turbine breaks down and the householder fails to repair it? What happens when a new owner adds a wasteful conservatory? It will not work.

If you are serious you would advocate moving to energy taxes and reducing other ones. Why not lower income tax and council tax across the board and increase fuel taxes? Everyone would then have sensible incentives to be as green as you like and local authority clip board men would not have to be employed by the thousand to stick their noses in.

Let the market rip.

Aren't our MPs a bit brighter than this?

Mark Wadsworth

Sorry but nope. Tax is a great stick, subsidies are a lousy carrot, and have to be paid for by increasing taxes somewhere else.

So if you want people to insulate their lofts etc, then increase VAT on domestic fuel (which means you can shave a bit of other taxes, or indeed increase pensions slightly, or both) is the best way of doing it.

See earlier comments on hypothecation of green taxes.

Prentiz

There are some benefits to the idea. I suspect, for example, that it would make it more likely for green improvements to be fully reflected as an asset in the price of a house and it would probably be quite an effective incentive.

However, I'm not sure this has been fully thought through. As Phil Taylor points out there would be a considerable cost in bureaucracy - with the requirement for a local ongoing assessment regime - in effect a rolling mini-council tax revaluation, which would impose significant costs

Worse, however, is the effect it would have on local government finances- replacing locally raised income with central grant would make local councils more dependent on central government - quite out of step with the localism we are proposing elsewhere.

From a financial point of view, I would have thought, the same effect could be achieved more cheaply by grants and loans for the purchase and installation of green technology, rather than sacrificing tax revenue on an ongoing basis.

Denis Cooper

I don't like the tone of this proposal, like many other "environmental" policies which are emerging these days. I wouldn't go so far as to say "dictatorial", but "authoritarian" would not be so far off the mark. I don't regard global warming as "an accepted fact", even in the most general interpretation that the globe is getting warmer, and as far as I'm concerned anthropogenic climate change remains an unproven hypothesis. Therefore I don't accept that government and councils should be trying to impose draconian measures to deal with a problem which may not exist. No council busybody is coming into my home to check whether I've made it "greener", or kept it "greener", and so qualify for reduced council tax. Not unless they bring the police with them, to force my compliance.

Chris Palmer

I think the end comment sums up the whole policy piece really: "Not known at this stage but the cost of doing nothing is an ever growing contribution to carbon emissions and global warming."

And? As Denis Cooper rightly points out above, global warming is not accepted fact by a number of scientists, and climate change far from so. Just because the number of scientists who do not believe that either climate change or global warming is occuring are in the minority does not make them automatically wrong.

Jade

Notwithstanding this implies that the highly regressive and unfair Council Tax will stay, this is essentially a daft idea! Not all properties can take domestic wind turbines (& there are some serious planning issues to be sorted in this area); many have the wrong aspect for solar to work; others are of a construction where cavity wall insulation is not possible. Are people in such properties going to be penalized for something they cannot have or where it is not financial viable?

As to grants and support, don't hold your breath. My pensioner parents who with me (their carer) had joint interest in our property were legally entitled to free central heating but because their names (although on electoral roll and obviously live in the property) weren't on the Council Tax list (one to blindness & one to inability), they were denied it. One died in February of pneumonia!

Just another bureaucractic nightmare of bribes!

Disappointing

This is an obviously daft idea from a person clearly snuggling up to the leadership in the hope of promotion. Hopefully that will not happen any time soon. There are plenty of intelligent arguments to make in the green department but this is not one of them and demonstrates a lack of judgement.

Cllr Green

I actually like this. It incorporates what is called a "positive externality" (namely, reduced carbon emmissions) into the benefits of insulating. So long as this is merely a tax break (not a tax hike coupled with a tax break possibility), and is administered efficiently (but how could that happen under NuLab?) it would be a good idea.

Ex candidate

This is vacuous nonsense from "giz a job" new MP.

Global warming is not an accepted fact. It is carbon dioxide, rather than carbon, that is supposed to contribute to climate change. Anne Main makes the same mistake as Peter Ainsworth MP.

Like Zac Goldsmith, Anne Main has no scientific education or training. Her CV on the party website is very thin and vague. Phil Taylor's question at the end of his post is spot on!

Jake

It depresses me that this has come from a member of the parliamentary party. Why bother when this is all they have to offer?

I agree with the numerous criticisms above. It is a horrible, economically illiterate, big government idea.

Just to add my own additional criticism (which I will not labour too hard as I don't like to kick somebody who is down). It is a hugely inefficient use of public money to subsidise people for something they may well do anyway. Supposing I were to say "people need to eat more fruit - so let's spend £1 billion subsidising apples". Would £1 billion worth of additional apples be consumed? Nothing like it - people who buy apples anyway will just say "thanks a lot" and pocket the pocket the saving. The horribly flawed logic of this approach was also evident in our proposals to subsidise private health at the last couple of elections. It is just illogical, stupid use of taxpayers' money.

Cllr Green

economically this makes sense....it integrates the benefits to the environment into the cost of putting in insulation...it's sound Conservative, Market-based policy...
It would just have to be administered correctly

Jinxed Conservative

I am quite surprised to see that people don't like this idea. I would have thought that it was grounded in basic Conservative principles.

That people are advocating even higher taxes on fuel instead of an incentive to make your home a little greener astonishes me. This policy doesn't sound to me from what I read to be about penalising those who don't make their homes greener, but about rewarding those who do.

Here was me thinking that it was Labour who were all about the stick and no carrot.

I personally like the idea. I think it would take careful planning, but worth it.

Well done Anne Main MP for sticking her neck out, I don't see many others doing the same.

P.S If she was really looking for a job, do people honestly think this is the way that she would do it?

Oh Dear!

Jinxed Conservative - you're not the Nicola Dorrington who is/was Anne Main's PA are you?

Jinxed Conservative

Sorry, and if I am? I am also a Conservative Local Councillor and a Party Activist so surely I can post on here just the same as anyone else. I personally think this policy is a good idea, and I don't see why I shouldn't say that because of my job.

The fact is that increasing taxes to encourge people to go green won't work, and I see incentives as the best alternative.


Oh Dear!

I agree - you are entitled to your personal opinions and of course you have the right to comment.

Just think that when someone is commenting on a story they have an obvious interest in, it should be declared.

What are good friends for?

I would just like to say that [insert name] has not phoned me up asking me to support [insert description of idea], which is a really good idea. My friend is very clever and should be promoted as quickly as possible. Of course, the fact this person is my friend has not affected my thinking in any way.

Jamie Redhead

-The Stern report says we must see environmental improvements as an investment and the Government accepts this.- Just because the government accepts this, do we have to?

This is an opportunity to demonstrate in a positive and concrete way our commitment to investment in our environment.-

Looking beyond the, in my view, unsettled debate as to whether man-made emmissions of carbon dioxide will result in uncontrolled global warming or that there is a natural cycle between warming and ice ages; I have a significant problem with this policy suggestion.

To me this would increase beauracrcy and thus there is an automatic inefficiency in the policy from the outset let alone increasing the role of the state in the publics personal lives beyond a position I believe is required. Do we need to be ordered to be 'green'? With this policy yet again homeowners are pushed upon to be environmentally friendly. Advertise? Yes. Promote? Maybe. Push? No.

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