Taxation: Eco-friendly Lifestyles

House of Lords written question – answered on 21st April 2008.

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Photo of Lord Laird Lord Laird Crossbench

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they propose to introduce further financial incentives for those who wish to live an eco-friendly lifestyle.

Photo of Lord Davies of Oldham Lord Davies of Oldham Deputy Chief Whip (House of Lords), HM Household, Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard (HM Household) (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Lords)

Since 1997, the Government have introduced a number of financial incentives to encourage eco-friendly behaviour, including reduced VAT rates for the professional installation of energy-saving materials and microgeneration technologies, and the landlords energy saving allowances to encourage private landlords to improve energy efficiency of their properties. Individuals can also take action within their own homes that both reduces their impact on the environment and provides financial benefits by reducing their energy bills. The Government have recently launched the carbon emissions reduction target (CERT), which obliges energy suppliers to install energy efficiency measures and promote reductions in carbon emissions for households. Under the CERT scheme, many energy companies offer free and discounted loft and cavity wall insulation. Further to this, the 2006 Pre-Budget Report announced a stamp duty land tax relief for new zero-carbon homes, and Budget 2008 announced that this incentive would be extended to new flats. Budget 2008 also provided further incentives to choose eco-friendly transportation by announcing significant reform of vehicle excise duty. In addition, the Government have provided funding to support eco-friendly lifestyle, for instance through the low carbon building programme.

The Government keep all taxes and reliefs under review and any changes are announced by the Chancellor as part of the Budget process.

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