Homeowners in England will get up to £5,000 for insulation and energy-saving improvements as part of Rishi Sunak’s £2bn Green Homes Grant
- Chancellor Rishi Sunak has set aside £3billion for a green employment package
- It is focused on cutting emissions, improving environment and creating jobs
- Package will include £1billion to improve energy efficiency at public buildings
- Treasury sources last night said the cash would help fund at least 5,000 jobs
Homeowners are set to get £5,000 for insulation and energy saving improvements as part of Rishi Sunak’s mini-Budget tomorrow.
Chancellor Sunak will announce a £2billion grant scheme as part of a £3billion green employment package focused on cutting emissions, improving the environment and creating jobs.
Under the new scheme the government will pay at least two-thirds of the cost of home improvements that conserve energy.
The overall package will include £1billion to improve energy efficiency at public buildings such as schools and hospitals through measures including insulation and the installation of heat pumps in place of conventional boilers.
It will also include £40million for a new Green Jobs Challenge Fund to encourage charities and local authorities to create employment in cleaning up the environment.
Treasury sources last night said the cash would help fund at least 5,000 jobs in activities such as creating new green spaces, planting trees and cleaning rivers.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak planting five trees in Richmond with two trustees of the Richmondshire Landscape Trust
The Treasury declined to say how the remaining almost £2billion of the package would be spent.
But Whitehall sources said most of it would go on a massive programme of insulating homes. The move chimes with Daily Mail campaigns promoting both tree planting and litter picking, including the recently re-launched Great September Spring Clean.
It will also contribute towards a Government target of planting 75,000 acres of trees a year by 2025.
A further £50million will go to pilot innovative schemes to ‘retrofit social housing at scale’, with measures including insulation, double glazing and heat pumps.
Heating buildings accounts for almost 20 per cent of the UK’s climate emissions.
Treasury analysis suggests that better insulation could cut household energy bills by up to £200 a year.
Mr Sunak has set aside £3billion for a green employment package focused on cutting emissions, improving the environment and creating jobs
Cut admin not troops, No 10 says
Boris Johnson has rejected plans to cut 20,000 troops, it emerged last night.
The Prime Minister has told defence chiefs to ‘think again’ after they suggested that reducing the size of the Army was the best way to achieve savings demanded by the Treasury.
Downing Street has instead ordered the Ministry of Defence to look at cutting its army of bureaucrats.
Whitehall sources accused defence chiefs of ‘shroud waving’ after they suggested that deep cuts to front line capabilities were the only way to make savings. The Prime Minister’s spokesman yesterday refused to rule out a reduction in the size of the Army but insisted that the Government was committed to increasing defence spending.
However, a Whitehall source said Mr Johnson had rejected a big cut and was asking the MoD to plan for a ‘substantial’ reduction in its own civilian staff, which currently numbers more than 50,000. The source said the Prime Minister had ‘told them to think again’.
Downing Street yesterday denied the Government was planning defence cuts.
The new scheme could also create thousands of jobs at a time when ministers are desperate to stave off a predicted surge in unemployment.
Ministers are braced for unemployment to return to levels not seen since the 1980s, with the jobless total topping three million. Much of Mr Sunak’s statement tomorrow will focus on measures to create jobs and help workers keep their own.
The Chancellor is considering a national insurance holiday for employers in certain sectors. He is also looking at plans for a temporary VAT cut in the hardest hit sectors, such as hospitality, where 2.4million jobs may be under threat as a result of the lockdown and continuing constraints on business.
Businesses will also be offered £1,000 each for every apprentice they take on, as part of plans to massively increase opportunities for youth training in what is set to be the toughest jobs market for decades.
The Resolution Foundation think tank last night called for a £200billion stimulus package. The organisation said the job retention scheme, which has already protected 9.3 million jobs, should be extended beyond October for those sectors still struggling – a move that Boris Johnson has already ruled out.
And it called for ‘high street vouchers’ worth £500 to be handed to every adult to boost demand – an idea that has been considered by officials. The think tank also suggests that a £10billion increase in Universal Credit could help prevent rising unemployment leading to a collapse in consumer confidence.
Green groups warned that the £3billion package was much too small to deliver on the Government’s legally binding target to cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.
Ed Matthew, of think tank E3G, said: ‘If this is the total level of energy efficiency investment they are pledging then it is peanuts.’
Ministers are braced for unemployment to return to levels not seen since the 1980s, with the jobless total topping three million