Hindering the low carbon economy

I listened to Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday. It is a ritual at which the leader of the opposition and other members of parliament ask the Prime Minister questions, which the Prime Minister usually fails to answer. Instead he uses the question as an opportunity to criticise opposition policies or statements by way of an answer. This procedure is in the worse traditions of the British constitution. No one is held to account or made to answer questions.

A good illustration of this nonsense was when Mr Efford commended Mr Brown on his decision to attend the Copenhagen Summit. Mr Brown answered by complaining about the opposition MPs being against wind turbines, which as far as I know they are not.

Members of Parliament try to ask questions of the prime Minister which affect things in their own constituency. One MP asked about Green Energy Supplies of Leominster facing extra costs from Microgeneration’s “gold plated” scheme.  I understand the point perfectly. In the past few years the Government has forced the microgeneration industry to undertake certifications as a condition of their end users, the customers, being able to access grants from the Government.

In principle it must be right to ensure that public money is given by way of subsidy to those installers of microgeneration who can prove that they know what they are doing. However, many installers, perhaps the vast majority of them, are very small businesses and the costs of these certification programmes are indeed gold plated.

It can cost a small installer a significant amount to get certification. These way in which these certifications are structured are complex, time consuming and expensive to operate. It is odd that the government imposes such expense and regulation on a tiny but important industry that hardly has a foothold in the United Kingdom, while it allows credit card companies and banks to rip off the public with excessive and usurious rates of interest and fees far in excess of reasonable fees.

This question was directed to placing unnecessary financial and administrative burdens on those in the microgeneration industry but Mr Brown replied:

“No government is doing more than we are doing to help the low carbon industry in this country… I am convinced that we are doing as much as we can to help the development of low carbon industry”.

On the first point he is wrong. If I listed those governments that are doing more than Mr Brown’s government to help the low carbon industry you would find included every other member of the European Union, the United States, many countries in Latin America and many countries including China and South Korea, and others in the Far East. Of course Mr Brown’s Government is doing more than any other UK government is doing to help the UK’s low carbon economy, but that is because Mr Brown’s government is the only government in the country.

In fact i can cite many practical examples of the past ten years where the government has hindered, rather than helped the low carbon economy.

On the second point, if Mr Brown is convinced that he is doing as much as he can to help the low carbon economy, then he needs to re-examine the logical basis for his conviction that he is doing as much as he can to help the low carbon economy. If his conviction that government is doing all that it can, turns out to be true then heaven help the planet.


One Response

  1. I do not believe the Government is really concerned about renewables, or helping the avarage working class people to have them on their homes, they see the whole global warming as a way of raising taxes in the name of been green and leave a large proportion of the country in fuel poverty, while the MP’s steal from our taxes to furnish their lavish lifestyle.
    It seems to me the Government will focus attention on anything the media decide to sensationalize, at the moment Carbon Monoxide Poisoning deaths seem to be getting high profile coverage and yet deaths from this are small when compared to other issues, take deaths from fuel poverty, this is far higher than deaths from Carbon Monoxide poisoning, but it does not get the attention, nor the money to help reduce it.

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