Left Watch

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Labour's headline-grabbing eco-homes tax incentive has benefitted just 24 people

One of the proposals in Gordon Brown's final Budget was to scrap stamp duty on any new property up to the value of £500,000 which is given a zero carbon rating.

Yet as today's Independent reports...

"Just 24 homebuyers have taken advantage of a high-profile scheme devised by Gordon Brown to encourage the construction of environmentally-friendly houses across the country... Mr Brown set aside £15m for the tax relief, which he hoped would “accelerate” the building of carbon-neutral homes as a key weapon in the fight against global warming."

So less than one person a month has benefitted from the scheme since October 2007 -  so few, it turns out, that details of the individual sums involved will not be disclosed by the Government lest it lead to the identification of individual properties.

Shadow housing minister Grant Shapps, who uncovered the information, has condemned the scheme as a "shocking failure":

“Gordon Brown just can’t seem to stop himself from announcing grand schemes designed to do little other than grab that day’s headline. Rather than Ministers putting all their efforts into announcing glitzy pledges in order to grab a few column inches, it would be better for them to sit down and seriously work out ways to slash the 27 per cent of carbon emissions that emanate from Britain’s homes.”

Jonathan Isaby