Lib Dems: Our ‘green deal’ will create 100,000 jobs

By Peter Wozniak

The Liberal Democrats have announced the delivery of the party’s manifesto pledge of a ‘green deal’ for insulating Britain’s homes – claiming the plans will create 100,000 jobs.

The policy, designed to improve energy efficiency in all Britain’s homes and businesses, will see insulation improvements surveyed, financed and overseen by government.

Changes will be paid for by lower energy bills following the installation process.

Announcing the plans, Chris Huhne, Lib Dem energy secretary said: “I want Britain to say goodbye forever to leaky lofts and chilly draughts. At a time of increasing gas prices energy efficiency is a no-brainer.

“It’s also a massive economic and job opportunity which could help Britain’s economy turn the corner.

“With up to 100,000 green jobs up for grabs over the next five years, and even more in the long term, this is about growing our economy in a way that’s good for jobs, the environment and energy security.”

The ‘green deal’ is set to go into operation in 2012. Mr Huhne claimed 14 million homes could take up the programme, providing the impetus for lowering the UK’s energy costs.

Along with the pupil premium targeted at following disadvantaged children throughout their education, the ‘green deal’ was one of the Lib Dem manifesto commitments to make it into the coalition agreement.

The party is scrambling to point out examples of its influence on government, amid attacks from Labour attempting to exploit disquiet amongst Lib Dem MPs over changes to housing benefit and tuition fees.

Ed Miliband made a point of highlighting Simon Hughes’ discomfort over the proposed cap on housing benefits during last week’s prime minister’s questions.

Mr Huhne himself recently announced plans for eight new nuclear power stations, contradicting the long-held Lib Dem aversion to nuclear power.

Lib Dem poll ratings continue to struggle, hovering in the low teens.