Greens demand VAT for retrofit is cut to ensure warmer homes for communities.
Molly Scott Cato: “The government has the ability to decide now if it wants to benefit all of society, or if it wants to continue prioritising big business at the expense of everybody else.”
The Green Party is calling on the government to cut VAT for refurbishment and retrofitting works to lower energy consumption and ensure everybody has access to a warm home.
Green Party finance spokesperson Molly Scott Cato has launched a petition demanding the government remove VAT for refurbishment projects if they substantially reduce carbon emissions and impose a 20% VAT for new build schemes, reduced to 5% if the build meets minimum passive house standard.
Scott Cato said:
“Retrofitting is the most carbon-efficient way to provide Green homes for everybody; rather than focusing on building more new houses, which are far more energy intensive, and many people can’t afford anyway.
“The construction industry currently produces 40% of our total emissions, yet current VAT regimes benefit new builds over refurbishments. This has got to change.
“During a climate and ecological crisis, we need to incentivise the most effective ways to reduce emissions and provide everybody with a warm secure home. The government has the ability to decide now if it wants to benefit all of society, or if it wants to continue prioritising big business at the expense of everybody else.”
Green candidate for Victoria ward, Denis Champion-Walker added:
"Southend is the seventh most densely populated area in the UK outside London. The need for suitable modern housing is growing, but we need to make the most of our existing buildings, not expand the town into the green belt.
"New build homes are heavily financially incentivised by the government, but there are big environmental costs to constant redevelopment; something I'm all too aware of in Victoria ward.
"To tackle the climate emergency, the need to bring our existing housing up to meet better standards is an important step. I’m proud that the Green Party are leading calls for a cut on VAT on making existing homes more energy-efficient for every family.
"The Green Party will lead the way in making sure all Southend’s residents have a safe, warm and efficient place to call home."