Six years on: Labour’s Eco Scheme declared a “failure”.

Labour’s Eco-home scheme has been declared a failure after 6 years, with only 24 homes taking up the offers. Gordon Brown sectioned off £15m for tax relief after announcing in his last budget as Chancellor that he would scrap the stamp duty on new home constructions under £500,000 that received a zero carbon rating.

The idea behind the scheme was to encourage the construction of eco-homes, and as such boost the flagging housing market. Many new technologies are available to help create more environmentally friendly homes, which add up to 27% of Britain’s carbon emissions, such as better insulation, solar panels, and electricity monitoring devices.

Sarah McCarthy-Fry, the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said “We have always made it clear that the SDLT [Stamp Duty Land Tax] relief for zero carbon homes would evolve and we expect to see more of these homes built in the future.”
The government has stated that by 2016 it wants all new home constructions to be carbon neutral, which would require them to have their own form of power generation such as solar panels and wind turbine devices. However as many people (professional and public alike) have pointed out, this will push the cost of construction up and so could essentially wipe out the £10,000 benefit the government claims an eco home will bring you.

Shadow Housing Minister Grant Shapps says “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.”

General opinion appears to be in agreement with Mr Shapps, who also suggests that the government should focus on the main source of housing CO2, which is the 25million homes across the UK, many of which are aging and could be made more eco-friendly with relative ease and minimal cost.

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