Net Zero: Shadow Chancellor pledges to build the retrofitting supply chain

John McDonnell responds to the BMF20 November 2019

“Retrofitting millions of homes is all part of Labour’s Green Industrial Revolution to move to a net zero carbon economy" John McDonnell told the BMF today. "And we want to build up the supply chain throughout the country to do that”.

The Shadow Chancellor was answering a question from Brett Amphlett who represented the BMF at a Labour Party event at Westminster. Mr McDonnell gave a keynote televised speech, prior to next month’s General Election, on corporate governance and reforming company law to give workers, suppliers and customers more say in how businesses are run.

Brett Amphlett asked John McDonnell if - as an incoming Chancellor of the Exchequer - he is willing to intervene in the tax system and give Enhanced Capital Allowances to help manufacturers bring to market the materials and products needed to de-carbonise heating and electrify homes.

Mr McDonnell said the threat of climate change is Labour’s priority if it is elected next month. If there needs to be support for businesses to help in the transition, he will look at tax reliefs to help them scale-up to meet demand - for example with hydrogen as an alternative to gas in boilers.

The current system of business tax reliefs has built up over time and no-one has looked at them as a whole to see which ones work, he added. Labour will conduct a review to see which reliefs are effective in meeting the challenge of the climate emergency. He said big companies not taking adequate steps towards de-carbonisation should be de-listed from the London Stock Exchange.

The Shadow Chancellor also told Brett Amphlett that the BMF is doing a good job representing its members like one his own constituency. Mr McDonnell was referring to Lords Builders Merchants who he visited last year to meet Shaker Patel, Lords’ Chief Executive, in Dawley Road, Hayes, West London, organised by the BMF.

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