GOVERNMENT plans to force homeowners to spend thousands of pounds extra on “green” home improvements when they extend their properties will be impractical, unpopular and counterproductive, warns the Federation of Master Builders.
Brian Berry, FMB chief executive, said: “There is an urgent need to improve the energy efficiency of our existing homes, but people should be encouraged and not forced to take action as the current proposals will only backfire on the Government.
“In the current economic climate when many homeowners are struggling to pay their bills it makes no sense to impose this hidden tax.”
He said: “A survey of our members reveals that 70% of FMB building companies do not believe that the Government’s proposals are technically, functionally or economically feasible to implement for most domestic extension projects.
“Our research also shows that 73% of builders think that home owners would carry out less work as a result of the proposals with a further 69% expecting homeowners to turn to cowboy builders instead to get around the proposed legislation. ”
Mr Berry said: “The Government needs a rethink about the best way to encourage homeowners to make their homes greener and more energy efficient as the current proposals are self-defeating.
“What is needed is a range of incentives to help kick start energy efficient home improvements. A good way would be to reduce VAT on energy efficient repairs or lower the Council Tax. The last thing homeowners need at this time is extra cost.”