Harlow MP Robert Halfon backs PM Rishi Sunak’s Net Zero U-Turn

General / Thu 21st Sep 2023 at 10:51am

YESTERDAY, the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak set out the Government’s new “pragmatic” approach to reaching Net Zero by 2050 in a way which doesn’t penalise hard-working people with extra financial costs says Harlow MP Robert Halfon.

Mr Halfon said: “Readers of Your Harlow will know that I have always worked hard to protect our green spaces and cut down our pollution and littering in our towns and villages.

However, I have always been clear that we must not balance the need to cherish our planet on the backs of hard-working people. For too long, decisions made around reaching Net Zero have been about wishful thinking with very little consideration given to the impacts that policy changes have on people’s lives, and the significant cost of living challenges they face. 

The Prime Minister has taken a courageous step forward and set out a clear list of policies which will ensure the UK remains on track to meet our green commitments. But, most importantly, easing the financial burdens on people from Harlow, and up and down the country. We will:

  1. Ease the transition to Electric Vehicles to 2035 in line with other countries. By 2030 the vast majority of cars sold will be electric but the upfront costs are still high for families who are struggling with the cost of living and it should be the consumer, not the Government, who make that choice.
  2. Give people more time to switch to Heat Pumps saving the average household £10,000. We will not force households to rip out their existing boiler – they will only have to install a heat pump when the time comes to replace their boiler, and even then, only after 2035.
  3. Increase Boiler Upgrade grants by 50% to £7,500 to support people who want to make this transition now. 
  4. Ensuring energy-efficiency requirements are affordable. Under current plans, some home-owners faced a cost of £8,000 to upgrade in just three years’ time. The Government will continue to subsidise energy efficiency programmes to help reduce bills, but it will not force any household to do so. 
  5. No rules on carpooling, seven different bins, more expensive meat and no new taxes on flying. 
  6. Investment in green skills like apprenticeships. In Harlow, this means the £12 million investment in our Advanced Manufacturing Centre and £100,000 investment in the new Renewable Energy Training Centre in Harlow College which will support 12,800 jobs. 
  7. Meet our commitment to plant 75,000 acres of trees which creates 30,000 jobs and contributes £2 billion to the economy.

It is really important to remember that we remain committed to reaching Net Zero by 2050, and that we will meet all our targets set at the recent Climate Change Conferences in Glasgow and Paris to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. With our new approach we can do this because over the last ten years, we have over-delivered on our targets. For example, we have had the fastest reductions in emissions in the G7 with carbon emissions down by almost 50% since 1990. 

As the Prime Minister rightly said, all fair-minded people believe in the role we have to play to tackle climate change, but this must be credible, bring people with us, and be done in such a way that is transparent and does not unfairly penalise hard-working families to gain short-term political points. 

“Whilst Labour have said they want to spend £28 billion of hard-pressed tax-payers money on green white elephants which financially hurt many Your Harlow readers, our way forward is fair, affordable, and will absolutely build a greener future for Harlow’s young people”. 

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19 Comments for Harlow MP Robert Halfon backs PM Rishi Sunak’s Net Zero U-Turn:

Mark Ingall
2023-09-21 11:49:54

Mr Halfon is so loyal to unelected and unwanted Mr Sunak, just as he was loyal to Liz Truss, Boris Johnson, Teresa May and David Cameron. Quite why he wants to serially ally himself to these abject failures I don't know? It's time for a.chamge in Harlow and across the country.

gary roberts
2023-09-21 12:26:40

Hold that front page: Mr. Robert Halfon supports his pension provider! Did anyone expect him to do otherwise? He will support anyone wearing a Tory badge including those with a criminal offence against their name. As for the policies: How do you cut a tax when none exists. For example a meat tax: Really? When did that occur? Sorting rubbish into seven bins? What about compulsory car sharing? Taxes to discourage flying? When were they introduced? The Conservatives are a bunch of BS's who should really grow a pair and grow up.

Ian McNaught
2023-09-21 12:28:20

I'm not sure but didn't a passed conservative PM encourage motorists to buy Diesel cars then a short time later change after many people had bought Diesel cars on the earlier advice. Seems we have history repeating itself, this time advice to go electric. The Motor Industries must be in a middle as to what to plan for in the future.

2023-09-21 13:29:41

"Give people more time to switch to Heat Pumps saving the average household £10,000." Utter bollox. Heat pumps installed by some leading energy companies can cost between £3,000 and £8,000. The UK Government’s Boiler Upgrade Scheme will soon offer up to £7,500 for eligible households who install heat pumps, up from £5,000. Far from hitting hard-pressed families, energy companies say that installing a heat pump could save as much as £557 a year on energy bills compared to a gas boiler, meaning they could pay for themselves within years. Perhaps RH and Rich! could put this on the side of a bus. Then it might become true. Just like the £350M a week to go to the NHS. "No rules on carpooling, seven different bins, more expensive meat and no new taxes on flying. " More utter bollox. There were never any government policies that covered any of this. Will RH also agree that scrapping rules to allow people to murder their grandparents is also a good thing? https://inews.co.uk/news/seven-recycling-bins-and-rishi-sunaks-other-net-zero-claims-fact-checked-2631413

Mark Ingall
2023-09-21 14:14:19

Seems like nobody trusts Conservative MPs like Mr Halfon anymore. Probably because we've been lied to by Conservative MPs for the last 13 years.

2023-09-21 15:22:25

I see the tory fan club is all here. Ian McNaught, I will agree with you that electric cars are not the answer but simply just another revenue stream that ultimately will go down the same saviour/devil route that diesel has. You said "I'm not sure but didn't a past conservative PM encourage motorists to buy Diesel cars". The answer is No. In 2001, the then Chancellor Gordon Brown introduced a new system of car tax aimed at protecting the environment. In actual reality it fostered a popular move towards highly polluting diesel cars. So the answer to which government sold diesel as the silver bullet is, Tony Blairs Labour government in 2001

2023-09-21 15:31:20

Unless they make the greener way a lot cheaper I will continue using petrol cars.

Nicholas Taylor
2023-09-21 15:57:24

"Has worked hard to protect our green spaces". Really? The Tory Party are in the pockets of large housing developers who make financial contributions to the Party. Tory led EFDC are going to allow thousands of homes to be built on the Green Belt around Harlow and the destruction of commercial food growing greenhouses. Meanwhile the Tories in Harlow are crying crocodile tears about the destruction of the Green Belt to the South East of Harlow.

Jamie W
2023-09-21 16:50:46

Halfon has outstayed his time as Harlow MP. Just get rid of this odious man who votes against gay marriage and care assistant/disabled benefit.

2023-09-21 17:47:41

Please explain how planting 75000 trees creates 30000 jobs, where!!

2023-09-21 19:24:44

No matter who is prime minister you can always guarantee that their local mouth lapdog, in this case our beloved halfon, comes out of his dark slimmy hole to support what ever his boss says contrary to what the people want. When are these useless national and local politicians going to listen to what we want instead of them telling us what they are going to give us. Heat pumps do not work. Electric vehicle technology is unreliable,as can be seen in the rise of these being used as part exchange,for a petrol or diesel engine car. In sunaks statement he says, and i quote, moving to fast on green policies would risk losing the consent of the british public. Have i/ we missed something here. What consent is this. Nobody gave you any form of consent to destroy my country with these utterly stupid demands of net-zero. You lot treat us like serfs but we do have a long memory and come the next election hopefully most of you idiots,including our own useless clown, will be looking for other work. The likely hood of this happening is very high so i would now like to thank you, due to your incompetence, for giving my country a possible coalition government with the strings being pulled by the wet liberals, snp and the greens

F Williams
2023-09-21 21:07:28

Sandy has a point. Here is some fun background information from https://www.forestresearch.gov.uk/: « The area of woodland in the United Kingdom at 31 March 2022 is estimated to be 3.24 million hectares; 1.42 million hectares (44%) are independently certified as sustainably managed. » « The Business Register and Employment Survey reported average employment in 2020 of 19 thousand in forestry, 8 thousand in sawmilling and 5 thousand in panel mills » So the government is going to plant 75,000 acres of trees which is roughly 30,400 hectares. That’s an increase of 1% in woodland area for a near doubling of forestry related jobs. Impressive!

F Williams
2023-09-22 07:24:14

Point 4 of this letter is also a fun one. Mr Halfon, like Mr Sunak (but I am sure that’s just a coincidence) forgets to mention that the homeowners who were on the hook for up to £8000 worth of insulation work are landlords. It’s all well and good saying «The Government will continue to subsidise energy efficiency programmes to help reduce bills, but it will not force any household to do so. » but in this context the members of the household pay the bills while the homeowner pays for the insulation so pretending it’s simply a matter of giving people choices is completely disingenuous.

2023-09-22 08:39:24

Two very good points from F Williams. Why do Conservatives like Mr Halfon try so hard to mislead the public?

David Forman
2023-09-22 10:05:29

Many have already spotted the nonsense from Sunak and Halfon about a meat tax. The evidence proving Sunak and Halfon wring is in a June 2023 report by the Climate Change Committee. In it mentions tax 36 times and meat 25 times, but not in the same sentence. In fact only two paragraphs are relevant. The first on page 101 says: "The Government has set out no plans to support the public to shift to a lower-carbon diet". The second paragraph on page 411 says: "Take low-cost, low-regret actions to encourage a 20% shift away from all meat by 2030, rising to 35% by 2050, and a 20% shift from dairy products by 2030," which does not imply a tax but rather incentives. See Climate Change Committee report at https://www.theccc.org.uk/publication/2023-progress-report-to-parliament/#downloads

David Forman
2023-09-22 10:46:28

Yesterday (21 SEP) Rishi Sunak was interviewed on BBC Radio 4's Today programme. The interviewer, Nick Robinson, questioned Sunak on his nonsense about meat tax, compulsory car sharing and 7 bins for recycling. Listen from 2:21:16 at https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m001qmkn

2023-09-22 12:03:09

Imbecile, Sunak needs to get out he isnt keeping any promosies is the government and everyone in politics dumb and out of date?

Guy Flegman
2023-09-22 15:01:34

I think you will find that everyone in politics is generally sub standard because it has become a thankless task due to the internet and the army of trolls and keyboard warriors and legal challenges that will stop anything from getting done regardless of which political party you represent. On top of this there is often a wider agenda at play and if you don’t follow the script you are pushed out by your own party.

2023-09-22 20:51:31

If only there were a viable alternative to Sunak the Snake, unfortunately Starmer is certainly not the answer.

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