The road to Net Zero not clearly laid out in the Budget

A trade body which represents a multi-billion pound slice of the UK building industry has welcomed the extension to the stamp duty holiday, and the launch of a mortgage guarantee scheme in today’s Budget.

However, John Newcomb, CEO of the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF), has voiced disappointment that the National Retrofit Strategy, a cross-industry initiative proposed to tackle energy use and carbon emissions in the UK’s housing stock, was not discussed by the Chancellor.

Mr Newcomb said: “If we are to achieve net zero by 2050, Government action is needed to improve the existing housing stock, and we are disappointed this was not addressed in the Budget.

“We must work together to provide confidence, incentives and support to homeowners to undertake the necessary upgrades and we hoped to see mention of this approach, as it is of great importance socially and economically to the UK.

“Our existing homes use around 35% of all the UK’s energy and are responsible for 20% of carbon dioxide emissions.

“The National Retrofit Strategy was set-out by the Construction Leadership Council to offer a plan for the upgrades that are vital if we are to tackle this and meet the country’s net zero targets.

“It proposes how we can help make homes greener and more energy, and water, efficient, warmer and cheaper to run.

“We had hoped the proposal, which will bring significant benefits to the UK, would be mentioned in the Budget.”