Stamp duty cut for Green Deal homes on the cards

4 March 2011

The Treasury could offer homeowners stamp duty incentives in the Budget to encourage them to retrofit their homes under the Green Deal, Building reported.

The measure would be a victory for the industry, which has been calling for incentives and mandatory regulations to kickstart home improvements. Stamp duty incentives are seen as crucial to ensure take-up of the government’s flagship policy.

Andrew Warren, who heads the Department for Energy and Climate Change committee on how to boost Green Deal take-up, said he was “quietly optimistic” that stamp duty incentives would be approved by the chancellor.

“I would be very surprised if this didn’t take place. All the signals are good,” he said.

A source close to DECC confirmed the incentive was very likely to be part of the Budget. However, it is not known if the changes will take the form of penalties for poor performance, or tax cuts for high energy efficiency.

A Treasury spokesperson said: “We do not comment on speculation ahead of the Budget.”

However, speaking at Ecobuild, the climate change minister Greg Barker appeared to rule out mandatory regulation to force homeowners to upgrade their homes, claiming that setting basic energy standards for homes would upset people.

Meanwhile, also speaking at Ecobuild, former construction minister Nick Raynsford warned the current minister Mark Prisk that he was “very worried” the Green Deal lacked funding incentives and that cowboy builders could wreck the scheme’s credibility.

In a separate story Construction News reported that sustainability expert Neil May, who found eco-supplier Natural Building Technologies, warned at Ecobuild that the Green Deal is “a disaster waiting to happen”.

“It is being done without a proper understanding of buildings and what is effective. We need to stop saying we are going to be the best ever and world leaders because the reality is we are not good at building and have not done good research for a long time,” he said.

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