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Tories say Hip U-turn will add to public’s confusion

Tory Shadow housing minister Michael Gove says the Government must go back to the drawing board over Hips.

Speaking in Parliament, Gove suggested that the timing of the move was politically motivated and damaged confidence in the industry and affected the stability of the housing market. He said the Government cares more about minimising its embarrassment over the affair than helping first-time buyers and tackling climate change.

Gove said: “Isn’t it the case that this is a desperate lastminute retreat designed to ensure that the minister of housing and planning is airlifted out of the department by her friends in the Treasury in a future reshuffle so she does not have to cope with the chaos she has created?

“Is it not tragic that confidence in the industry, the stability of the housing market and the battle against climate change have all been damaged by the Government’s arrogance and incompetence?”

LibDem shadow government secretary Andrew Stunell says the Hip saga reveals the Government’s incompetence after it admitted that as well as the legal battle with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, not enough energy assessors have been trained.

Stunell says: “The piecemeal implementation of this jinxed scheme will only result in yet more confusion for buyers and sellers. This is another black mark on the Government’s environmental record. Tackling climate change requires improving the energy effic-iency of existing homes but one measure proposed by ministers is now delayed because of their bungling.”

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