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HIPs fallout is predictable but intriguing

I love this industry, it’s like a real-life soap opera. Who’s doing what with whom? Who said this or that and why did they say it? Do they know what we already know and does he know what she should know but doesn’t know yet?

Actually flogging financial services might be fraught with angst these days but writing about it is like you’ve discovered sex, lager and rock ‘n’ roll all on the same day – every day. Hedonistic pleasure and debauchery is sating me. I love it.

In the tumultuous aftermath of the U-turn on Home Condition Reports letters to ministers and postulating pundits can be found flying about pontificating in all directions. But the only surprise in all this is that there should have been any surprise. What we’re now going through was as predictable as night following day.

But a couple of things intrigue me. One is the whingeing from the home inspector lobby and the other is the claims being made in respect of the energy reports which are being pathetically wafted about as a sop to the home inspector’s indignation.

From the moment Home Information Packs were mooted, rational and sensible industry voices questioned their viability. Ministers consulted, committees were formed and forums were facilitated. In short, all facets of the affected industries were invited to comment – before these comments were completely ignored and the government pressed forward with what John Prescott and the Consumers’ Association said they wanted.

But the Tories paid attention. They were quick to identify the proposals as unnecessary and unworkable and promised to scrap HIPs minute they came to office.

Why would you invest about 7,000 to train to do a job that the informed world had so little faith in? And if you were foolhardy enough to press ahead with such an uncertain venture why should you expect compensation for the punt you took? Perhaps because this is how the world is, with nobody taking responsibility for their actions, no matter how stupid they are. As luck would have it, there might still be a role – providing energy reports. Not so sexy, but hey, c’est la guerre, n’est ce pas?

And have you seen what’s being predicted for these energy reports? They will work to the detriment of properties with poor energy efficiency ratings which will consequently be damned to lower prices or worse, remain unsold forever. As in “I admire your thatched, mullion-windowed, wattle and daub Cotswold cottage of immense character and charm but I must have this high-density Wimpey-built, mid-terrace matchbox because the utility bills will be so much cheaper.”

The lunatics have taken over the asylum (oops, sorry – politically incorrect). God give me strength.

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