It seems odd that Barker should think it’s understandable that he got it wrong, but that construction firms should have seen the lacklustre performance coming
There was a whiff of double-think in energy minister Greg Barker’s attempt this week to blame big construction firms, like Carillion, for not being able to make the Green Deal work, a minute after admitting that he had got forecasts for how the flagship scheme would operate “spectacularly wrong”.
It seems odd that Barker – who has been working on the scheme since day one and has the services of the government’s economists at his disposal – should think it’s understandable that he got it wrong, but that construction firms, who invested millions in preparing to drive the market following government forecasts, should have seen the lacklustre performance coming.
It’s fair to say smaller firms are more agile and maybe the big players have been slow to adjust. But if none of the UK’s big construction firms are active in the Green Deal marketplace in a year’s time it will be a shame because the taxpayer will lose out on them doing Green Deal work alongside other projects – usually the most cost effective option.
I wonder if the minister can see that coming.
Vern Pitt, senior reporter
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