Rishi Sunak insists UK CAN still hit green targets without costing families £15,000: PM says Brits should not have to shell out on new cars, boilers and eco-taxes earlier than rest of the world – as poll shows half of voters back his plan

Rishi Sunak went on the attack today over plans to delay a raft of flagship environmental changes, demanding his critics justify why voters should be lumbered with bills of up to £15,000 to hit green targets.

In his biggest gamble as Prime Minister, he has vowed to shatter a consensus that has seen successive governments impose green targets with little regard to cost.

He insisted this morning that he was not ‘slowing down efforts to combat climate change‘, saying he ‘passionately’ believes in hitting the 2050 Net Zero target.

But he reiterated his belief that imposing ‘unacceptable costs’ on families risked wrecking support for saving the planet.

It came as a YouGov snap poll found that half of voters – and a majority of Tory supporters – back plans to delay a ban on sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2030 to 2035.

But the announcement last night has split the Tory party, with critics coming from both the moderate and right wings of the party.

Mr Sunak this morning told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme:  ‘We’re very confident, being in Government with all the information at our disposal, that we are on track to hit all our targets.

‘But for those who disagree with me, and there are plenty of people as we can see over the last day or two, lots of people who disagree with me, the questions for them, they should explain to the country why they think it’s right that ordinary families up and down the country should have to fork out £5,000, £10,000, £15,000 to make the transition earlier than is necessary, to do things that aren’t possible for them, to spend the money doing that when I don’t believe it’s necessary for us to hit targets which, by the way, are more ambitious than anyone else and we’re doing more than anyone else.’

In his biggest gamble as Prime Minister, he vowed to shatter a consensus that has seen successive governments impose green targets with little regard to cost

In his biggest gamble as Prime Minister, he vowed to shatter a consensus that has seen successive governments impose green targets with little regard to cost

In his biggest gamble as Prime Minister, he vowed to shatter a consensus that has seen successive governments impose green targets with little regard to cost

It came as a YouGov snap poll found that half of voters - and a majority of Tory supporters - back plans to delay a ban on sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2030 to 2035.

It came as a YouGov snap poll found that half of voters - and a majority of Tory supporters - back plans to delay a ban on sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2030 to 2035.

It came as a YouGov snap poll found that half of voters – and a majority of Tory supporters – back plans to delay a ban on sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2030 to 2035.

In a victory for the Mail, a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in 2030 will be pushed back by five years.  But rules forcing firms to make sure 80 per cent of their car sales are electric vehicles by 2030 will remain, it was reported today.

Plans to prohibit new gas boilers will also be slowed down, with five million homes given a permanent exemption.

And the requirement for landlords to upgrade home insulation by 2025 will also be delayed.

Mr Sunak also ruled out a string of ‘heavy-handed’ proposals put forward by government advisers, including a tax on meat, a plan to force people to recycle waste into seven different bins and a scheme for compulsory car sharing.

In a thinly-veiled swipe at his predecessors, the PM said the political class had ‘not been honest’ with the public about the real costs of net zero, with the result that Britain had ‘stumbled into a consensus about the future of our country, that no one seems to be happy with’.

The Prime Minister also said that as chancellor, he was critical of Boris Johnson’s government being ‘on autopilot to just adopt’ green policies.

But former chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng said it was ‘odd’ that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had argued that previous governments had sought to get to net zero ‘simply by wishing it’.

The former chancellor and business secretary told BBC‘s Newsnight: ‘What is so extraordinary about that is he was chancellor of the exchequer for two-and-a-half years in those previous governments.

‘It was not as if he was a backbencher or someone with little influence, he was right at the centre of it. I thought that was odd to say that previous governments had wished it because I had lots of discussions with him – very fruitful discussions – when we were both in cabinet and he was very open minded and very dynamically involved in net zero policy.’

He added that there were concerns in the Conservative Party that Rishi Sunak’s decision to delay the ban on new diesel and petrol cars by five years could have a detrimental impact on investment in the car sector

Mr Sunak last night said he remained fully committed to the target of reducing the UK’s carbon emissions to net zero by 2050.

But he warned that the Government’s existing plans ‘seem to have defaulted to an approach which will impose unacceptable costs on hard-pressed British families. Costs that no one was ever told about, and which may not actually be necessary to deliver the emissions reduction that we need’.

The policy changes could save the average family up to £15,000, he added.

His comments came as:

  • Labour vowed to reinstate the 2030 ban on new petrol cars if it won power, creating a clear political dividing line;
  • Grants for installing heat pumps in domestic properties were increased by 50 per cent to £7,500;
  • A former government adviser warned the plans would go to judicial review as green groups took court action;
  • Ford UK accused the PM of ‘undermining’ the car industry, but Jaguar Land Rover and Toyota welcomed the move;
  • A People Polling survey for GB News found the public oppose the 2030 timetable for banning new petrol cars by a margin of 50 to 34;
  • Tory whips told the PM the new approach to net zero was opposed only by ‘a few outliers’ on the Tory benches.

Backing the plan yesterday, Home Secretary Suella Braverman said: ‘We are not going to save the planet by bankrupting the British people.’ But the dramatic change of direction sparked a furious reaction from green campaigners and opposition from some senior Tories, including Boris Johnson.

In a victory for the Mail, a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in 2030 will be pushed back by five years. Pictured: Rishi Sunak meets workers during a visit to Land Rover

In a victory for the Mail, a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in 2030 will be pushed back by five years. Pictured: Rishi Sunak meets workers during a visit to Land Rover

In a victory for the Mail, a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in 2030 will be pushed back by five years. Pictured: Rishi Sunak meets workers during a visit to Land Rover

Mr Sunak also ruled out a string of ¿heavy-handed¿ proposals put forward by government advisers, including a tax on meat, a plan to force people to recycle waste into seven different bins and a scheme for compulsory car sharing. Pictured: Rishi Sunak visits Land Rover for an announcement on a new electric car battery factory in July

Mr Sunak also ruled out a string of ¿heavy-handed¿ proposals put forward by government advisers, including a tax on meat, a plan to force people to recycle waste into seven different bins and a scheme for compulsory car sharing. Pictured: Rishi Sunak visits Land Rover for an announcement on a new electric car battery factory in July

Mr Sunak also ruled out a string of ‘heavy-handed’ proposals put forward by government advisers, including a tax on meat, a plan to force people to recycle waste into seven different bins and a scheme for compulsory car sharing. Pictured: Rishi Sunak visits Land Rover for an announcement on a new electric car battery factory in July

Mr Sunak said he remained fully committed to the target of reducing the UK¿s carbon emissions to net zero by 2050

Mr Sunak said he remained fully committed to the target of reducing the UK¿s carbon emissions to net zero by 2050

Mr Sunak said he remained fully committed to the target of reducing the UK’s carbon emissions to net zero by 2050

Mr Sunak last night acknowledged he was ‘getting flak’ over the change, but added: ‘That is not going to stop me doing what is right.’

He was forced to rush forward his plans after the details were leaked to the media on Tuesday night.

At a hastily arranged press conference in Downing Street last night, following a mid-morning call with his Cabinet, he said it was a mistake to move faster because the UK was already a world leader. He said it had cut emissions by almost 50 per cent, compared with 22 per cent in France, zero in the United States and a 300 per cent rise in China.

‘How can it be right for the British people to be told to sacrifice more than others?’ the Prime Minister asked.

He warned that forcing people to pay £10,000 or more for a heat pump, or thousands for home insulation, would destroy support for tackling climate change.

He said a ‘more pragmatic, proportionate, and realistic approach that eases the burdens on families’ was the ‘only realistic path to net zero in a democracy’, adding: ‘The risk here to those of us who care about reaching net zero, as I do, is simple: if we continue down this path we risk losing the consent of the British people.

‘And the resulting backlash would not just be against specific policies but against the wider mission itself meaning we might never achieve our goal. That’s why we have to do things differently.’

Mr Sunak suggested the changes would not require a change in the law but No 10 later conceded a Commons vote would be needed to change the 2030 car ban, setting up a potential showdown with critics at Westminster.

Backing the plan yesterday, Home Secretary Suella Braverman said: ¿We are not going to save the planet by bankrupting the British people¿

Backing the plan yesterday, Home Secretary Suella Braverman said: ¿We are not going to save the planet by bankrupting the British people¿

Backing the plan yesterday, Home Secretary Suella Braverman said: ‘We are not going to save the planet by bankrupting the British people’

Mr Sunak’s decision to roll back some of the expensive green initiatives sparked an angry row on the Tory benches.

Sir Alok Sharma, who was the president of the Cop26 climate summit, said the plans would be ‘incredibly damaging’ for business investment and added: ‘I really do not believe that it’s going to help any political party electorally which chooses to go down this path.’

Boris Johnson, who championed the cause of net zero in office, said Britain ‘cannot afford to falter now or in any way lose our ambition for this country’.

The former PM said that businesses ‘must have certainty about our net zero commitments’.

But former business secretary Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg, who is normally a close ally of Mr Johnson, said Mr Sunak was right to slow the rush to net zero and limit the cost to families.

‘My concern is my constituents being cold and poor,’ he said. ‘I want to see the living standards of people in the UK rise and that means recognising that we can’t get to net zero tomorrow. And we can’t get to it before the technology is ready.’

But Tory strategists believe delaying expensive green policies could be a vote-winner with families already struggling with the cost of living crisis.

Content source – www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *