MPs' green press releases

Mike Hall MP says “TAKE TEN STEPS TO TURN DOWN CLIMATE CHANGE”

MP ASKS LOCAL RESIDENTS TO JOIN HIM IN REDUCING ENERGY CONSUMPTION

Mike Hall MP has pledged to take simple steps to reduce his energy consumption this summer, and has asked everyone in Weaver Vale to take simple practical steps to help turn down climate change.

Mike Hall MP said:-
“This July has been one of the hottest ever. Each of the last five years has been one of the ten hottest on record.
“Climate Change is science fact, not science fiction. Yet many people feel helpless, not knowing what they can do to make a difference.
“The Government has to do all it can to reduce carbon emissions by delivering the Kyoto agreement, encouraging low carbon energy, investing in renewable energy and leading international efforts to reduce carbon use. I’ve supported those measures in Parliament.
“But the environment is an issue for all of us, not just politicians. After all, if each of us used just a little less energy it would make a real impact on our carbon emissions.
“The average household is directly responsible for about 10 Tonnes of carbon per year. Our decisions have a major impact on the Environment.

“Simple small measures – from turning your TV off rather than leaving it on standby to turning your heating down a couple of degrees make a difference.
“Summer’s a good time to take action because we tend to use less energy in heating our homes. We can set habits in summer that we keep up for the rest of the year.
“That’s why I’m pledging to take some of the ten simple steps the Energy Saving Trust have designed for each of us to reduce our energy use.

“Of course we need to do more, but let’s do what we can immediately, then campaign to put the environment at the top of everyone’s agenda”.

Energy Savings Trust
Here are ten simple steps to help stop climate change
1. Turning your thermostat down by 1ºC could cut your heating bills by up to 10 per cent and save you around £40 per year.
2. Is your water too hot? Your cylinder thermostat shouldn’t need to be set higher than 60ºC/140ºF.
3. Close your curtains at dusk to stop heat escaping through the windows.
4. Always turn off the lights when you leave a room.
5. Don’t leave appliances on standby and remember not to leave appliances on charge unnecessarily.
6. If you’re not filling up the washing machine, tumble dryer or dishwasher, use the half-load or economy programme.
7. Only boil as much water as you need (but remember to cover the elements if you’re using an electric kettle).
8. A dripping hot water tap wastes energy and in one week wastes enough hot water to fill half a bath, so fix leaking taps and make sure they’re fully turned off!
9. Replace your light bulbs with energy saving ones: just one can reduce your lighting costs by up to £100 over the lifetime of the bulb.
10. Do a home energy check. Just answer some simple questions about your home and get a free, impartial report telling you how you can save up to £300 a year on your energy bills. Visit www.est.org.uk for more details.

Erith & Thamesmead MP, John Austin, joined the Mayor of Greenwich, Cllr Harry Singh and Council Deputy Leader, Cllr Peter Brooks at the opening of the council’s new Re-use and Recycling Centre off Nathan Way in Thamesmead today (Wednesday 16 August). John Austin said: “I am pleased to have such a modern facility located in my constituency. Greenwich is probably the most improved borough in London regarding recycling. The adjacent Materials Recycling Facility, operated by Cleanaway and handling and separating the Council’s collection of recyclable waste, has enabled Greenwich to increase its recycling rate from 9% to 22%. This new facility provides an improved civic amenity where residents can bring their unwanted goods – everything from garden waste, motor car tyres, oils, paints, to wood, metal, old shoes and clothes.
Much of this would previously have gone to landfill or incineration and now can be re-used or recycled”.
John Austin toured the site, including a new facility for testing and re-using electrical goods. John Austin said: “Greenwich is well placed to expand the re-use and recycling of electrical goods when the new Regulations on disposal come into force and I will be urging the Minister to bring in the regulations sooner rather than later”.
Whilst on site, John Austin discussed with Council Deputy Leader and Thamesmead Councillor, Peter Brooks, the possibility of developing a kitchen waste composting plant on or near the site and said: “There are many potential benefits from composting such as electricity generation or production of bio-fuels, possibly to power local public transport schemes such as the Waterfront Transit from Thamesmead and Abbey Wood to North Greenwich. These are exciting possibilities”

FAIRER AND GREENER – LIB DEMS PROPOSE RADICAL OVERHAUL OF TAX SYSTEM

11 August 2006

Today the Liberal Democrat tax commission unveiled its proposals for a fairer, greener and simpler tax system.

The commission proposes to:

* Lift two million people on low income out of tax
* Cut the basic tax rate by 2p and take 1.3 million people out of the upper tax rate
* Tackle climate change by taxing pollution
* Cut the number of tax rates and reliefs for both individuals and businesses

Commenting on the proposals, Lembit Öpik, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, said:

“These proposals would help tackle inequality and environmental damage without increasing the overall tax burden.

“The Liberal Democrats believe that we don’t need more taxes, we need fairer taxes, and the changes we’re putting forward are the most progressive policies proposed by any party in recent history.

“Our radical changes would benefit the vast majority of pensioners, key public sector workers and young professionals in Wales. Tax cuts for the majority will be paid for by the wealthy and those with environmentally damaging lifestyles.

“The current system of taxation is outdated and unfair, with the bottom 20% paying proportionately more of their income in tax than the richest 20%. It’s outrageous that since Labour came to power the gap between rich and poor has grown even greater!”

Roger Williams, Welsh Lib Dem MP for Brecon and Radnorshire, said:

“The Government’s approach to taxation has failed to provide social justice and failed to safeguard our environment. Under Labour, levels of green taxation have been falling and carbon emissions have been rising. When it comes to the environment both Labour and the Tories talk big and act small. Warm words and empty statements won’t tackle climate change.

“Our balanced proposals would ensure polluters pay an appropriate price for the environmental damage they cause. These policies would make a real and significant difference in the fight against climate change.

“The Liberal Democrat vision is a fairer, greener Britain. These tax changes would play a significant role in reaching that goal.”

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