Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Fridge scrappage scheme 'would help consumers cut fuel bills'

A 'scrappage' scheme should be started to encourage consumers to switch to more environmentally friendly refrigerators and other white goods, retailers claim.

Published: 7:00AM BST 17 Aug 2009

Fridge scrappage scheme would cost around £507 million a year in lost VAT receipts
The British Retail Consortium said introducing a car-industry-style scrappage scheme to the high street would help households cut their fuel bills by encouraging them to switch to products that generated lower emissions.
It added reducing the tax paid on new appliances that met certain standards would also support retail jobs and help to revive the high street, as well as contributing to the fight against climate change.
Research carried out for the BRC found that CO2 emissions could be reduced by 1.3 million tonnes each year, the equivalent of nearly 1% of domestic emissions, by 2020 if VAT was removed from the most energy efficient appliances.
It added that the initiative would cost around £507 million a year in lost VAT receipts, roughly equivalent to the cost of just two weeks of the VAT reduction that was introduced in December last year.
The group has written to the Chancellor calling on him to include the proposals in his Pre-Budget Report.
Stephen Robertson, British Retail Consortium director general, said: "The Government's working against its own objectives when it sets targets for reducing carbon emissions while charging full VAT on the efficient products that will move us towards those targets.
"Retailers are already doing their bit to cut carbon but homes are responsible for 27% of the nation's emissions. Helping householders improve their performance has to be the next step."