Home Information Packs bungled by catastrophic Cooper - Stunell, 2 August 2007
The Liberal Democrats today called Yvette Cooper’s handling of the introduction of Home Information Packs, which come into force tomorrow, as ‘catastrophic’.
Commenting Liberal Democrat Shadow Communities and Local Government Secretary, Andrew Stunell MP said:
“Ms Cooper should have been given a seat on the backbenches, not a seat in the Cabinet, for the way she has handled Home Information Packs.
“This botched and bungled introduction has cost the taxpayer £20 million to date.
“Since last summer we have had three sets of regulations, a legal challenge from the professionals affected by this scheme and the ditching of compulsory home condition reports.
“At the same time the Government’s major policy for reducing carbon emissions from existing housing has been emasculated, with Energy Performance Certificates only being required for homes with more than four bedrooms.
“The lack of action on Energy Performance Certificates will cost future generations even more, with further delays in reducing greenhouse gases from our homes. Yvette Cooper’s performance to date can only be called catastrophic.”
Notes to Editors
Parliamentary Questions revealed that in March £11,684,725 had been spent on the Home Information Packs programme, since then questions from the Liberal Democrats reveal that an additional £8,076,466 had been spent by the end of June (Total: £19,761,191).
27 Jun 2007 : Column WA150
Housing: Home Information Packs
Baroness Scott of Needham Market asked Her Majesty’s Government:
What has been the cost to date of preparing for the introduction of home information packs? [HL4037]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews): I refer the noble Baroness to the Answer given by my honourable friend the Minister for Housing and Planning (Yvette Cooper) on 13 March 2007 (Official Report, col. 239W). Since then, an additional £8,076,466 has been spent on the programme.
And 13th March 2007, Col 239W
Home Information Packs
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much her Department has spent on (a) administration, (b) legal fees, (c) special advisers, (d) the website and (e) other costs for the home information packs programme; and what funding was originally allocated to the programme. 
Yvette Cooper: The following table indicates how much the Department of Communities and Local Government has spent on administration, legal fees, external advisers, the website and other costs associated with the Home Information Pack Programme from April 2004 up to the end of January 2007. Consumers spend billions of pounds each year on the transaction costs they incur when buying and selling homes. HIPs are designed to cut waste from home buying and selling as well as providing important energy information to help cut carbon emissions. The money has been spent on developing and testing the home condition report and other components of the pack; putting in place a quality assurance framework to protect consumers and guarantee standards; developing the necessary systems and explaining the changes to the public and industry stakeholders.
Admin spend-including salaries of those working on HIPs policy and implementation: 1,529,450
Legal fees: 153,903
External advisers: 5,52,629
Other costs-including research and area trials: 2,645,151
Total programme spend 10,155,275
Grand total (1) 11,684,725
(1 )Expenditure as recorded in the Department’s accounting system from April 2004 to January 2007 inclusive.
The budget for the programme for the period 2004-05 to 2006-07 is £16 million.