Don’t let the Green Zealots bring back the Window Tax!
The government is proposing that householders who want to build a conservatory, or replace a boiler or install new windows, are to be forced to spend hundreds of pounds in addition on loft insulation and other green measures, all in the name of saving the planet. The Daily Mail reports that “officials recognise this will cause inconvenience to householders”. They can say that again. It is of course also likely to do huge damage to the home improvement industry, as home-owners who have saved for a conservatory are disheartened by the new obligations, and decide to go on a cruise instead. Time to sell your shares in Everest?
But there’s more to it than that. This about a fundamental condition of a free society — property rights. The money in the householder’s bank account is his property. He’s earned it. The government has already taxed him on his income. It will tax him again, with VAT, when he spends it. But it is his to spend as he likes on any legal product, including conservatories, windows or a new boiler. Indeed all the green zealots at DECC should be cheering when a householder replaces an inefficient old boiler with a new recirculating model. That alone will reduce fuel consumption and emissions.
But no. They must hit him with a new and wholly unjust obligation. It must be the citizens’ choice to insulate or not. We must reluctantly allow the government to pester him and hector him on the issue, and perhaps to offer incentives. But not to create penalties and new obligations when a citizen spends his own money on products of his choice.
I am genuinely appalled that a Tory-led government can so totally disregard the issues of personal freedom, liberty and property rights, in pursuit of its modish obsessions. They seem unable to grasp the idea that there are some things that the government can and should do, starting with the Defence of the Realm (which they seem to have abandoned). And there are things that the government should not do, like interfering in the citizen’s home, and imposing arbitrary obligations on home improvements.
They seem indifferent to the fact that they are creating disincentives to the very improvements they are recommending — like efficient boilers, and double glazing. They are careless of the casual collateral damage that they are inflicting on the home improvement industry. And they are wholly indifferent to the fundamental rights of the British people to privacy in their homes, and to spend their own money without state interference.
This is Eco-fascism run mad. It’s preposterous, and it’s time to say NO.