The Government are committed to supporting green growth, as is demonstrated by the green investment bank, which was allocated £3 billion in the spending review, by the carbon price floor, which is designed to drive investment in low-carbon power generation, and by the green deal, which supports households and businesses in increasing their energy efficiency at no up-front cost.
May I, too, extend a very warm welcome to my hon. Friend the Economic Secretary?
In the Budget, the Chancellor pledged to consider incentives to encourage take-up of the green deal. One idea is to have a stamp duty particularly for the least energy-efficient homes. How does my hon. Friend intend to advance those incentives and is she prepared to meet me and industry representatives to find a way forward with the Chancellor’s incentives?
May I take this opportunity to thank my hon. Friend and others for their kind words regarding my role?
As I have mentioned, the green deal is a key part of supporting such green growth and the Government are taking a range of actions to help people to gain control of their household energy bills. I certainly note my hon. Friend’s suggestion and I am happy to meet him to discuss options within public finance constraints.
May I also welcome the new Minister to her post? She will be aware of the importance to the UK economy of energy-intensive industries such as the steel, chemicals and ceramics industries. German competitors in such industries are benefiting from rebates worth more than €5 billion a year; will she consult the Chancellor and make sure that the pre-Budget report includes a special package of measures for those industries so that rising energy costs do not simply result in jobs being exported abroad?