Has this government gone mad? Rather than target the real area of concern – estate agents – Labour has simply tried to get consumers to buy double glazing and ensure their homes are better insulated via HIPs.
The packs were originally meant to be about improving the housing market. Then, when the government realised that nobody wanted to pay much for HIPs, it ripped out Home Condition Reports – the only bit that was any use – to bring the cost down.
So HIPs were duly spun to be about saving the planet with Energy Performance Certificates. But even then Labour delayed a full rollout in the wake of Tory opposition.
Most professionals hoped this was the nail in the coffin for this pointless exercise in meddling in the housing market, but sadly HIPs live on.
The only thing the government needs to know about the property market is that we’re not building enough houses and few can afford them. Why on earth it needs another questionnaire filled out on the subject is beyond me.
It’s testament to the arrogance of this government that it has failed to admit it was wrong about HIPs and not got rid of such burdensome regulation.
The housing market needs all the help it can get to kick-start it. A good place to start would be to put a bullet in the head of HIPs.