Housing and Planning Bill - Report (5th Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:45 pm on 25th April 2016.

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Photo of Baroness Parminter Baroness Parminter Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) 4:45 pm, 25th April 2016

I thank the Minister for her reply, and thank noble Lords who have spoken in support of the amendment: my noble friend Lord Stunell, the noble Lords, Lord Kennedy and Lord Krebs, and the noble Baroness, Lady Andrews.

The Minister seems to be repeating some of the objections raised in Committee. I say that most respectfully, because I have been most grateful for the way that she has engaged with us one to one to listen to our arguments, as other noble Lords mentioned.

I have not heard anything this afternoon to change my view of why the amendment is needed. The Minister again makes the case for a breathing space being required, but these standards were agreed by the industry before the Chancellor took them out of the process last year. She talks about not ruling out a review, but why do we need to wait for a review? She has been unable to provide any evidence that the amendment would stop what we all want, which is for more homes to be built. She has not countered the evidence we have provided that it will lower energy bills, which is so important to countering fuel poverty. She has given us no answer as to how the Government will meet their greenhouse gas emissions targets if they do not take up the opportunity that we are providing in the Bill, given that buildings are the most cost-effective means to make reductions to meet our greenhouse gas targets.

On that basis, with regret, I wish to test the opinion of the House.