New Clause 10 — Green deal installation apprenticeships

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 12:49 pm on 14th September 2011.

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Photo of Gregory Barker Gregory Barker The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change 12:49 pm, 14th September 2011

I am sympathetic to the thrust of the hon. Lady’s amendment, but it is not illegal to sell things door to door. There is already a code of practice for that, but we do not live in a country where it is illegal for people to sell products door to door. That is already a fact of life and we do not propose to alter it; however, we do think there should be a strong code of practice. However annoying and regressive such practices may be, trying to address them outside a code of practice—that is, through blanket legislation—could affect not just loft clearance services, but the ability to go door to door, just as we as politicians go door to door trying to convince people of our ideas.

The mobilisation of community groups across a range of issues is important. We are seeing the involvement of a number of new social enterprises and community partnerships, some of which the hon. Lady is encouraging in her constituency. Indeed, one of the most exciting things about the green deal is its potential to give rise to new third sector involvement in delivering energy efficiency services. I appreciate the intention behind her amendment 26, and although I cannot support it, I hope that she will engage with us on the consultation that we will undertake in the autumn on strengthening the code of practice. Her input will be valuable, as it has been for other elements of the Bill.

We believe that existing legislation and the green deal code of practice will protect consumers while encouraging a healthy promotion of the green deal. However, we are also clear that elements of the green deal process must be impartial if consumers are to trust the information with which they are provided. That is particularly true of the assessment.