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31 July 2006

Barrett slams Treasury over Energy Saving Trust VAT Bill

John Barrett, Liberal Democrat MP for Edinburgh West, today accused the Treasury of hijacking energy saving initiatives after a new tax ruling hit the Energy Saving Trust with a £5m VAT Bill.

The Energy Saving Trust (EST), an independent not-for-profit organisation, have admitted they may be forced to cut jobs and cancel projects as a result of the Treasury’s decision.

Mr Barrett has previously worked closely with the Energy Saving Trust including carrying out an ‘energy check’ at his Edinburgh West constituency office. By following the recommendations made an almost 40% drop in office emissions was achieved.

John Barrett said:

“I have seen first-hand the excellent job done by the Energy Saving Trust across Edinburgh and beyond. The Treasury’s decision to stifle their good work surely makes a mockery of the governments environmental credentials.

“Energy efficiency is the quickest, cheapest and most effective way to meet Britain’s energy needs and cut carbon emissions. It is complete madness that the government is now slashing the Energy Saving Trust’s budget.

“After the decision to commit to a new generation of nuclear power stations, effectively abandoning hopes for renewable energy, this latest announcement suggests the government have also abandoned hopes for a major role for energy efficiency measures.

“Sadly, this is just the latest decision by a government that appears unwilling to confront the challenges of climate change.

“We should be backing organisations like the Energy Saving Trust to the hilt and following their recommendations rather than cutting their funding and muting their impact.”


Notes

• The Energy Efficiency Advice Centre (EEAC) provides free impartial expert advice on energy efficiency. As well as providing advice on behavioural changes people can make to reduce their energy use, the EEAC advises on grants available to the public that can assist householders to install a number of energy efficiency measures. They can be contacted free on 0800 512 012

• Results of Energy Check at 1A Drum Brae Constituency Office as follows:
Electric Heaters
Estimated running costs: £1155/year
Carbon emissions: 6.7 tonnes/year
Gas Central Heating
Estimated running costs: £324/year
Carbon emissions: 4.2 tonnes/year
(6.7 - 4.2) / 6.7 = 0.37 therefore 37% drop in emissions

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This website was established while I was a Member of Parliament. The site content is being kept online as a source of information, but all forms / email have been disabled.