Two prominent Brexiteer MPs are spearheading a campaign that claims Net Zero energy efficiency policies are unpopular.
In their launch statement, they reference what they claim to be two unpopular policies central to landlords - the phasing out of gas boilers by 2035, and the mandatory EPC ‘C’ rating by 2025.
MPs Steve Baker and Craig Mackinlay are spokespeople for the Net Zero Scrutiny Group, which includes some 40 MPs.
A survey suggests that three in five UK adults say they would not be willing to pay higher taxes on their energy bills to help reach Net Zero targets - that's including 49 per cent of Labour and Green Party voters.
The poll suggests that 65 per per of UK adults say the public have not been given enough of a say on the government’s Net Zero policies, and while 30 per cent of 18 to 24 year olds feel their voices have been heard, only 10 per cent of all those over 45 feel they have had sufficient input.
In its statement the campaign cites the Poll Tax as bringing down the Thatcher premiership 30 years ago and says: “With a raft of measures set for introduction, such as the phasing out of gas boilers by 2035, petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, and the mandatory EPC ‘C’ rating for landlords by 2025, the current government looks as if it is heading towards a Poll Tax moment of their own. These figures clearly show that the country is not behind either the policies or the direction of travel, and over two-thirds don’t feel they’ve been given a say.”
Mackinlay - the chair of the group - says: “I didn’t become a Conservative to make my constituents colder and poorer.
“It’s clear, looking at these figures, that the British public are not signed up to the government’s plans. They feel they haven’t been consulted or had their say; the majority don’t feel that government grants for air pumps or electric cars are either relevant to them, or more fundamentally needed to nudge them towards unreliable technologies they don’t want, and there is real worry about the ever-increasing costs of energy bills this winter.
“The general public are quite obviously not onside, and we need to be very careful about just whose shoulders are going to be carrying the very considerable costs of Net Zero.”
Meanwhile Baker - who heads the steering group for the same activist body - adds: “I’ve warned that the cost of Net Zero could deliver a political crisis greater than the Poll Tax, and these figures show that the government are heading straight for such an eventuality.
“The British people are clearly deeply unhappy about paying higher taxes to help reach Net Zero targets and feel they haven’t been consulted about the choices the government are making.
“Grants for air pumps and electric cars are all very well, but how many people can actually afford to pay all the additional costs? 20 per cent think they will actually benefit.
“We are heading down a path where blithe promises are made without considering the realities of current technology and the fact that many people in this country will just be left colder and poorer.“
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