Political agenda

ggfThe GGF will be attending the political party conferences this autumn, to raise members’ concerns across a range of issues, including:

• Reducing VAT on home improvements and energy efficient glazing – The GGF has long argued for a reduced rate of VAT for energy efficient windows and doors, from the current 20% rate to a 5% rate – to bring energy efficient glazing into parity with other energy saving products. In addition, the GGF supports the wider campaign to cut the VAT on home improvement, repair and maintenance work from a rate of 20% to a rate of 5%.

• Consumer Rights Bill – The GGF has been raising awareness of potential problems over the current wording of some parts of the Bill, to avoid confusion for consumers and protect businesses from potential ‘rogue consumers’.

• Manifesto for barriers containing glass to resist and contain fire and smoke – The GGF’s ongoing campaign to urge all those involved in fire safety (including regulation, design, installation etc.) to advocate an integrated approach to fire safety.

• Addressing the impact of the change of ownership of private sewers – A significant number of GGF members who manufacture, supply and install conservatories have found that homeowners wishing to build conservatories on their properties are being hampered as a result of the change of ownership of private sewers. The GGF has developed industry guidance which outlines best practice for installing conservatories or extensions in cases where building work may go near to a sewer.  Given the absence of a water companies’ code of conduct, the GGF is campaigning for this guidance to be adopted by the water companies, in order to provide clarity for consumers who wish to extend their homes.

• Incentivising the Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation – The GGF’s key focus is on improving the energy efficiency of households and commercial premises. Since 2011, the federation has been lobbying all of the main political parties to provide evidence and advice on how to better incentivise the schemes to boost the energy efficiency of the UK’s building stock.

Nigel Rees, GGF Group chief executive, commented: “We have a full-on itinerary at the party conferences with face to face meetings with MPs and MEPs responsible for energy, employment, local government and planning, skills, treasury and tax. We look forward to attending various events and sessions to raise and discuss our concerns to ministers and policy makers. With 2015 being an election year and with a great degree of uncertainty around the outcome, it is important we reach as many key influencers as possible.”

As well as senior GGF staff attending, the GGF’s political adviser and public affairs firm, GK Strategy, will also have representation at all three party conferences on the federation’s behalf. GK Strategy is in the line-up of guest speakers for GGF Members’ Day (30 September) where it will present an update of all the GGF’s political campaigns.


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