Climate Change Bill [HL]
Lord Swinfen (Conservative)
My Lords, I am in favour of the noble Lord's amendment. It would be extremely difficult to produce a fair system of allowances. Take, for instance, two identical houses next door to each other, both with exactly the same insulation value. One is occupied by a single individual and the other is occupied by a family of two parents and, say, three children. The family with the two parents and three children could well have five times the allowance of the single person, assuming that the children get the allowance as well as adults. There is also the case of the allowances that will be required by people who are ill—chronically sick—who need additional heating and people who are disabled who need additional heating. There is also the fact that as one gets older, one feels the cold a great deal more. I am sure Members of the House will have noticed that. Elderly people will also need a greater carbon allowance. There is also the fact of travel to work and travel to buy one's daily necessities. If you live in a town, very often your work is close at hand and you can walk there. You do not need a carbon allowance for it. You may need a shoe leather allowance, but no Government are going to bring that forward. If you live in the country a mile and a half from any public transport, as I do, you need your own vehicle to go to get food and to go to work. Even though I attended your Lordships' House today using the train—public transport—I did need the car to get to the station and on to the public transport. It is going to be virtually impossible to produce a fair system of individual carbon allowances even if one takes no notice of airline flights divided between pleasure and business. I support the noble Lord and will support him in the Lobbies should he divide the House.