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Warm Front is a very hard scheme to target well, because there are so many considerations to take into account, including both the characteristics of the dwelling and the household. Not all this information is readily available and there is also a danger of over-complicating the scheme. However, several recommendations follow from this research. Priority should be given to applicants who are living in the least energy efficient homes. A basic energy efficiency rating would need to be carried out for each applicant’s home, either by surveyors or using information provided by applicants.

Homes above a certain SAP threshold would either be eligible for the scheme or would only qualify for reduced support. The qualifying criteria should be extended to include many more households. This is also needed to make the prioritisation of grants effective (see above), by generating a bigger pool of applicants from which to select those homes most in need of improvement. Two groups in particular should be added. Firstly, all pensioner households should be included, not just those in receipt of certain means-tested benefits.

The current criteria exclude a large number of single pensioners who are fuel poor, but do not meet the eligibility criteria for some of the reasons already discussed. If government is serious about eliminating fuel poverty, Qualified House Buyer’s Agent then the size of the programme needs to be expanded substantially and high levels of investment in domestic energy efficiency need to be maintained over a longer period. One obvious source for this additional funding would be to allocate some of the money that is currently spent on Winter Fuel Payments.

Balance needs to be struck between introducing a more complex system for allocating grants on the one hand, which is necessary to improve the impact on fuel. poverty, and on the other hand, the danger of over-complicating the scheme, which would increase the administrative costs and may deter some people from applying.

But, if the scheme is as poorly targeted as this analysis suggests it is, then there is a strong case for tilting the balance in favour of a more targeted, through necessarily more complex, scheme. The development of a fuel poverty strategy for the United Kingdom has given emphasis and impetus to the need to deliver practical help to low-income households at risk from its consequences. There are significant but different problems across the other countries of the UK where NEA also operates including.

The reduction of VAT on domestic building work will benefit consumers, the industry and even the Government. Cutting VAT on domestic work will enable consumers to make informed choices based on building quality and not necessarily on who offers the cheapest deal, which will benefit both them and reputable builders; Cutting out the cowboy will reduce the unacceptably high level of complaints against poor building work Office of Fair Trading (OFT) figures report that there are around 100,000 complaints about bad building work each year. Hire Online House Buyer’s Agent  Studies in France, the Netherlands and the Isle of Man show that any reduction in VAT will be passed on to the customer.

Buyer's AgentThis means that more money will be available for home improvements. A cut in VAT would represent an investment in better homes, greater energy efficiency and improved health and safety in the industry added Ian Davis. The Federation urges the Chancellor to reduce VAT on domestic RMI to 5%. This change could act as the catalyst for the improvements that the construction industry so desperately needs.

FMB Members and other legitimate builders are confronted every day by illegal competition from rogue traders who evade tax by carrying out domestic RMI work for cash. These ‘cowboy’ traders are destroying the fabric of the construction industry by cutting corners, doing cheap and often substandard work and ignoring best practice in health and safety and training. Reputable builders who refuse to compromise on quality and safety are going out of business as a result.

In fact, you will end up saving all that extra effort, time and resources that would get wasted going. The only way forwards is to reduce the rate of VAT itself. Reducing the rate of VAT to 5% on domestic RMI work will significantly reduce the commercial advantage that the rogue trader enjoys. It will put builders on a much more level playing field and allow customers to choose on the basis of quality and service.

This experiment has already been tried in France, and resulted in a reduction in rogue trading activity and the creation of more jobs in the construction sector. It is time for British consumers and builders to enjoy the same benefits. This is an important issue which touches upon the life of every man, woman and child in the country. If VAT on domestic RMI work can be reduced to 5%, it will be a key step in the elimination of rogue builders and the misery that they cause.

The TCPA generally supports concentrated use of airports and the closure of the majority of entirely local airports in favour of better high speed rail connections to major hubs. The region cannot entirely meet its own demands and will continue to depend on a hub facility in the South East. A new airport in the Severn Estuary should be considered as a combined strategy for this region and South Wales. The TCPA strongly believes that the ability of the environment to sustain air travel is limited, and that current provision of airport capacity is already reaching that limit

We have attached the apartment layouts for your perusal, so that you don’t have to take on the streets, Home Buyer’s Agent Australia particularly in relation to environmental and social criteria, and runs the risk of further concentrating economic growth in an already overheated region of the UK. As such, the TCPA supports a constrained economic approach in the wider UK. In the South East, however, the TCPA is willing to accept limited growth, so long as it is implemented through development of a new London hub airport located in the Thames estuary. Such support is qualified by the requirements for proposals to meet environmental criteria and the Government taking appropriate steps to constrain and lower demand.

This could be achieved through such measures as imposing a kerosene tax, developing high-speed rail links to replace most short-haul flights from the north to the South East, and increasing the number of direct international flights available from Manchester, which should be developed as a second UK international hub airport.

The TCPA would support additional capacity on condition that it is met via a new hub airport in the Thames Estuary, that environmental criteria are met and that the Government takes all appropriate steps to constrain and lower demand. Of importance in the case of the North are the steps noted in the response to Question A1 to ensure demand for travel from the North to the South East is met by appropriate surface transport (especially high-speed rail).

Also, it is desirable to reduce the current level of short-haul flights from the North to the South East in order to make international connections through the provision of more direct international flights from Manchester, which should be developed as the second UK international hub. Such a strategy of developing a second international hub has been implemented in other major EU countries (France, Spain and Germany, for example)