[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 10 September 2007, 21:21 GMT 22:21 UK
Tory group urges 'green rebate'
For Sale signs
The group suggests green renovations should earn cash back
A stamp duty rebate for home-buyers who improve domestic energy efficiency is to be proposed by the Conservatives' Quality of Life policy group this week.

It also proposes council tax and VAT cuts - and capping the energy use of appliances like TVs and fridges.

As details of Thursday's report emerged, leader David Cameron said he would put up green taxes "and use the proceeds to reduce taxes elsewhere".

Labour questioned the tax calculations. The Lib Dems say the Tories are split.

Labelling system

The policy group - chaired by ex-environment secretary John Gummer and prospective Tory MP Zac Goldsmith - says household goods which exceed energy limits should be banned from sale in the UK.

It suggests that products with standby lights which stay on permanently should also be outlawed, and a labelling system should be introduced to help consumers compare the energy usage of electrical products.

Mr Goldsmith told the BBC's Sunday AM programme: "To upgrade your home is always going to be a disruptive process so the best time to do that is at the point where it changes ownership.

Tackling climate change is the biggest challenge we face
Tony Juniper
Friends of the Earth

"We should offer very generous stamp duty reductions - rebates - if your home is passed on in the best possible condition.

"And I think if you do that, it becomes less of an ethical decision and more of an investment - a financial decision."

Friends of the Earth director Tony Juniper welcomed the "range of positive and practical suggestions" to help tackle climate change.

He added: "A new approach is urgently needed if the UK is to become a world leader on this issue."

'Green growth'

All the proposals, which are not binding on Mr Cameron, are due to be unveiled on Thursday. The Tory leader says he will study them "carefully".

In a speech at the London School of Economics on Monday Mr Cameron said: "Let me be clear. We will raise green taxes - and use the proceeds to reduce taxes elsewhere.

"That is the right direction for the environment and it's the right direction for our economy. It is the best way to deliver the green growth that must be our aim."

The Tories are heading for a major bust-up on their plans for tackling climate change
Chris Huhne
Lib Dems

Labour's Andy Burnham, chief secretary to the Treasury, said: "They would need to raise green taxes by eye-watering amounts to meet the tax proposals they have been making.

"They've promised to tax less, spend more and borrow less - all at the same time."

Liberal Democrat environment spokesman Chris Huhne said there was a split in the Conservatives' attitude towards green issues.

"With John Redwood saying that his idea of going green is cutting taxes, the Tories are heading for a major bust-up on their plans for tackling climate change," he said.

The Green Party accused Mr Cameron of trying to "slide out of" his promise to back new nuclear power stations "only as a last resort".

Principal speaker Derek Wall added: "If they were serious about tackling climate change, the Tories would call for an immediate moratorium on any more road building or aviation growth."

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has previously said he wanted to "eliminate" the standby function.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Zac Goldsmith on the Tory proposals



SEE ALSO
Cameron urges climate change law
25 Oct 06 |  UK Politics
UK needs climate 'culture change'
10 Jan 07 |  UK Politics
Homes must be greener, says Brown
12 Mar 07 |  UK Politics
Tory leader in green controversy
18 Mar 07 |  UK Politics
Political battle for the green crown
12 Mar 07 |  UK Politics

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites




FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific