Energy Efficient Windows
The Energy Saving Trust has estimate that as much as 23% of a home's heat energy is lost through inefficient windows. The installation of Energy Efficient Windows reduces the amount of heat energy lost, thereby reducing carbon emissions as well as household energy bills.
The results of a twelve month project recently completed by the GGF demonstrate that:
- Installing Energy Efficient Windows in all properties of the existing housing stock would reduce national emissions by 10% and would also reduce national domestic energy expenditure by 10%.
- Average yearly energy bill savings made for installing Energy Efficient Windows in a typical GB house:
- £150.49 in a single glazed house (up to £325 in an electrically heated house)
- £44.88 in a double glazed house (per 2002)
- The average yearly saving made by converting all existing housing stock windows to Energy Efficient Windows:
- £2,363 million
- 3,970,663 tonnes of carbon
- 14,559,098 tonnes of CO2
Self employment and taxation in the construction industry
False self-employment in the construction industry, as defined by the Government, occurs where workers are treated as self-employed for income tax and National Insurance despite the fact that the way in which the work is carried out on a day to day basis demonstrates that there is an employment relationship.
The Government announced during the 2009 Budget that it would be considering amending legislation to ensure that workers are taxed in a way that will reflect its interpretation of their employment relationship. A consultation on this issue was subsequently launched later that year.
The GGF is concerned that legislative changes could damage the construction industry's ability to retain a flexible labour supply, and may be too broad to adequately reflect the nuances of self-employed workers' employment relationships.
There are other, more specific concerns, such as the exclusion ownership of tools of the trade from defining self-employment, within the Government's initial proposals. A self-employed window fitter will provide all the tools he needs to complete the task, therefore such an exclusion would automatically and arbitrarily exclude him from being classed as self-employed, regardless of his individual employment relationship.
The GGF believes that focusing so specifically upon false self-employment within construction may have damaging consequences for an industry already suffering badly in the current economic climate.
The GGF is keen to ensure that any legislative changes introduced are well targeted, effective and allow the industry to maintain flexibility with regard to its labour supply.
The GGF highlighted its concerns in response to the consultation, a summary of responses can be found here, and has subsequently met with Government officials in order to discuss other criteria upon which self-employment could be based. The GGF will continue to engage with Government in order to ensure that the implications of any potential changes to the law governing self-employment in construction are fully assessed, evaluated and understood.
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