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Hips set to go ahead despite late stand by Lords

The House of Lords has made its final stand against the implementation of home information packs on August 1, with members voting to scrap the controversial scheme.

The motion to revoke the legislation was passed by a small majority of 186 to 160. However, with Parliament going into summer recess, the regime looks set to be implemented next week.

The Lords’ opposition to Hips had been highlighted in the findings of its select committee on the merits of statutory instruments in May. It said the Government had failed to convince the industry of the benefits of Hips, with committee chairman Lord Filkin commenting that he had rarely seen such “widespread opposition to proposals”.

At last week’s debate, the Conservatives’ Baroness Hanham said: “Seldom can a Government initiative have gone so spectacularly wrong. It has been panned by practically all the professional bodies associated with house sales. Despite warnings from this House and the other place on innumerable occasions that the policy was simply not going to work, the Government has nonetheless ploughed on.

“We will gladly support the introduction of energy performance certificates as a separate and freshly considered initiative but home packs must go.”

Supporters of Hips believe the scheme is certain to go ahead from August 1.

Association of Home Information Pack Providers director general Mike Ockenden says: “While the vote in the Lords, which went against the latest Hip regulations, was not fatal and will not hinder the Government’s resolve to introduce Hips as planned on August 1, it is disappointing that the Tories have once again made a political football out of packs.”

Ockenden says there are now 1,999 fully accredited energy assessors ready to produce EPCs in time for the start date – just one short of the Government’s 2,000 target.

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