Home Information Packs and Stamp Duty
Opposition Day — [19th Allotted day]
Yvette Cooper (Minister of State (Housing), Department for Communities and Local Government; Pontefract and Castleford, Labour)
The hon. Lady may be aware that a different approach is being taken not only in Northern Ireland but also in Scotland. It is right that we provide people with proper energy performance information that they can use to cut their carbon emissions and to reduce their fuel bills. They can also use the information to get access to grants and additional help—to install loft lagging or cavity wall insulation. When we look at houses, not many of us think about whether there is cavity wall insulation. For the first time, the certificates will provide people with that important information.
It is unfair that people are denied such information, which is why we support its provision, and it is deeply disappointing that Conservative Members are so hostile to it— [ Interruption. ] They have been hostile; they have tried to water down energy performance certificates. Indeed, the party chair did not want the certificates to be introduced at all because she is opposed to energy assessors visiting homes to carry out the work.
The hon. Member for Welwyn Hatfield suggested that an easier way to do the work would be to ask Centrica to provide energy performance certificates. I have to inform him that Centrica is already putting energy performance certificates into the market because it believes that they are a good thing.