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Issue: - 15 August 2013


"WORK has dried up and thousands of installers have lost jobs and hundreds of millions of pounds to insulate homes goes unspent because the system is too bureaucratic and complex" says GMB.

GMB, the union for energy workers, commented on a report that Centrica the UK's biggest energy retailer, has said that Energy Company Obligation (ECO), aimed at making houses more energy efficient, was far more costly than ministers anticipated. See notes to editors for copy of the report in FT dated 12 August.

Gary Smith, GMB National Secretary for Energy and Utilities, said:- "GMB agree with the criticisms of ECO made by Centrica.   The principle in the Green Deal launched 8 months ago of insulating homes is right. Bills are going to go up and we need to take action to protect people.  The Green deal is a miserable failure as we predicted. Radical change is needed both to the Government Energy Company Obligation scheme (ECO) and Green Deal. It is shameful that we have insulation installers idle and losing their jobs.  Under the ECO regime work has dried up thousands of installers have lost their jobs and hundreds of millions of pounds that could be used to create jobs and insulate homes goes unspent because the system is too bureaucratic and complex. It is madness and needs leadership.  Fewer than 250 households have taken up this flagship energy efficiency programme in the first five months of the scheme.  Just 4 homes have signed up to a "green deal" plan, covering the upfront costs of measures such as insulation and new efficient boilers with the money paid back through savings on bills, and 241 households are going ahead with the scheme but have yet to sign.  So far, no households have had energy efficiency measures installed under the green deal and are being charged on their bills.  The Government should heed these warnings."


TARGETS are now being missed as long waits in A&E hit their highest level for 9 years with numbers up 39% on the previous year says GMB.  GMB, the union for NHS and care staff, commented on reports that struggling A&E departments are to be given £500 million additional funds over the next 2 years to help relieve pressures. See report on Press Association in notes to editor below.  Rehana Azam, GMB National Officer for NHS, said:- "A&E services were doing a great job meeting the 4 hour waiting target in our emergency services.  These targets are now being missed as long waits in A&E hit their highest level for 9 years. The numbers are up 39% on the previous year. You only have to ask the 300,000 patients who have to travel further or wait longer.  The Government know that it is their fault that patients are suffering.  That is why they have decided to distribute an extra £500 million to A&E services over 2 years which is a drop in the ocean. GMB will study this carefully to see if it is new money or if Peter is being robbed to pay Paul.  Why don't the Health Ministers responsible such as Dan Poulter visit their local A&E and speak to staff and patients to see what needs to be done.  Mr Poulter should assess why his local ambulance trust is contracting to a private provider ERS whose employees are forced to stay at campsites as terms and conditions so that they can profit from healthcare.  GMB is also calling on the Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt to stop closing A&E Departments and down grading others.  This Government is now presiding over an NHS in crisis. The A&E crisis is just a symptom of what this Government has done to our NHS."

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