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Budget fails to ignite green revolution

For a Government committed to being ‘the greenest ever’, this week’s Budget failed to ignite the forthcoming Green Deal programme to retrofit our nation’s homes, said the Federation of Master Builders said. No additional incentives such as a cut in VAT for energy efficient repairs, stamp duty or council tax were announced to make Britain’s homes greener and more energy efficient.

Richard Diment, director general of the FMB said: “The Chancellor missed an opportunity today to support the Green Deal and kick start consumer demand to make our homes greener. Without creating demand in the market for energy efficient improvement it is difficult to see how the Green Deal will succeed when it starts in the autumn of 2012.

“Help for the house building industry by the introduction of a government-backed shared equity scheme to help 10,000 first-time buyers is a welcome boost but it is doubtful whether it will help the tens of thousands of small house builders who are struggling to survive in the current market. The announcement to simplify the planning system is long overdue as this coupled with the lack of finance is stifling the house building industry which is delivering half the amount of homes that we need every year to meet current demand.

“The announcement that there is to be no new regulation on firms with fewer than 10 staff for three years is welcome news for small builders who have been burdened by excessive regulation and red tape over recent years. However, to be really effective it would be helpful if the Government could go further and cut the existing amount of red tape which is impacting on small businesses.

“Today’s Budget announced much of what we already knew. It will help many small businesses but it is not going to be a panacea for a quick recovery.”