BSA applauds governments green promise

The Building Societies Association has welcomed Gordon Browns plans to encourage greener homes in his latest budget statement.

Adrian Coles, director general of the BSA, says: The measures proposed to increase energy efficiency of homes, targeted at pensioners and low income families, are a welcome first step. Given the impact of carbon emissions from households on the environment, which account for over a quarter of UK emissions.

We look forward to a dialogue on how to encourage existing property owners to improve the environmental performance of their homes. This would ensure a real step change in combating climate change.

The BSA has also welcomed new limits to cash Instant Savings Accounts, but thinks more could have been done for savers.

Coles adds: An increase in the annual subscription limit to 3,600 for cash ISAs is good news for savers. The cash ISA has undoubtedly been a success story to date and raising these limits will help build on this. Taking this a step further, the BSA would like to see regular future reviews of limits to prevent erosion by inflation.

There are still further reforms we would like to see on ISAs. It is disappointing that the chancellor has not allowed transfers from stocks and shares ISAs to cash ISAs to be permitted.