Last reviewed 19 May 2022

The Government recently set out its legislative programme for the next session of Parliament (see Queen’s Speech promises levelling up, education reform and Brexit opportunities) but, according to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) it should have included another proposal.

What was missing, the FMB said, was a strategy to decarbonise the nation’s homes, although it did welcome the Government’s focus on improving the planning system and enhancing the UK’s skills system through the Higher Education Bill.

FMB Chief Executive Brian Berry said: “With serious and widespread economic uncertainty on the horizon, this year’s Queen’s Speech, marked another missed opportunity for the Government to set out a credible plan to green our homes for the future. There remains no credible plan to decarbonise our nation’s existing housing stock.”

While a 0% VAT rating on energy efficient home improvements was a step in the right direction at the Chancellor’s most recent budget, he went on, this measure alone cannot achieve the level of decarbonisation required to meet net zero by 2050.

Mr Berry also highlighted that, if these home improvements are not prioritised then any funding of new heating technology such as heat pumps will be useless, as homes will not be able to benefit from them because they are too draughty and leaky.

With planning having long been an issue for smaller housebuilders, the FMB was pleased to see proposals to improve the system given that, in the 1980s, 40% of new houses were delivered by SME housebuilders while this figure now sits at just 12%.