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Area-based Home Retrofit Schemes

Volume 737: debated on Tuesday 19 September 2023

9. What plans she has with Cabinet colleagues to help increase the capacity of local authorities to deliver area-based home retrofit schemes. (906460)

To support English local authorities, we fund an embedded technical assistance facility, providing access to experts, training and guidance to enhance their capability to deliver our domestic grant schemes.

Second time lucky. The Minister may be surprised—[Laughter]—to hear the following words leave my lips, and I know I am: I agree with the former Prime Minister, the right hon. Member for South West Norfolk (Elizabeth Truss), in her claim that low and middle-income households cannot afford to pay for the transition to net zero. Where we differ is that I do not believe that we should let the planet burn, as she does. Instead, the wealthy must pay for the green transition. Will the Minister commit to income and wealth redistribution and finally give households and local authorities the ability to transition successfully?

The Government provide a wide range of funding to support local authorities in reaching net zero through the core settlement, grant funding schemes and UK growth funding. The Government are enabling local authorities to tackle net zero goals.

One of the biggest challenges that we have in delivering home retrofit schemes in Cumbria is not with local authorities but with industry capacity and skills. What are the Government doing to try to send the right signals to industry so that we are getting the right skills into the supply chain to deliver some of these schemes, especially in areas such as Cumbria where we have skills deserts?

My hon. Friend makes a really important point on skills. In fact, we have invested £15 million in subsidised training over the past three years and have provided 16,800 training opportunities. We will continue to support this important industry.