Despite the declarations of climate emergency, the UK’s tax system rewards carbon-intensive new-build while penalising carbon-efficient refurbishment and retrofit.
Molly Scott Cato, Green Party finance spokesperson, has urged the government to put this right and remove VAT on refurbishment projects.
Scott Cato’s parliamentary petition, which has amassed 2,500 signatures since launching, calls for VAT on new-build schemes to be reduced to 5 per cent if the build meets minimum passive house standard, and to 0 per cent rate VAT for all items on a regularly updated list of energy-saving products.
Scott Cato says:- “We need to use tax strategically to make sure that the cheapest and easiest thing to do is also the greenest. The current VAT regime sets up the incentive in the opposite direction.
“For decades the Treasury have failed to take this action, often blaming the EU for tying their hands. Now that that excuse is no longer available [the UK now has total freedom to use a differential VAT regime to address the climate emergency] I hope we’ll see urgent action to tilt the playing field in favour of retrofit.
“With construction producing 40 per cent of the UK’s emissions, and initial embodied carbon accounting for 75 per cent of lifetime emissions, ‘Let’s put #RetroFirst and give people greener, warmer homes.”
If you haven’t already done so, please sign the petition: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/573207