The Daily Mail is all over this one, Booker leading the charge: a 'conservatories tax' requiring people wishing to improve their properties - e.g. replacing a boiler - to upgrade their insulation at the same time. Might even be forced to borrow money under the 'Green Deal' to do it, too. The Committee on Climate Change is ecstatic and wants it to be beefed up with 'effective enforcement'.
We know where the green zealots in government got the idea: building regs have long since required the owners of public buildings, shops, offices etc to retrofit disabled access measures whenever they are next doing any refurbishments. And since Green Deal loans are supposed to be self-financing through energy savings, I suppose the zealots can persuade themselves they are not imposing unduly on the ordinary citizens this new wheeze will apply to.
Even under their own lights they will have to confront the awkward fact that Green Deal is horribly flawed (repayments are based on estimated, rather than actual energy savings, leaving considerable scope for cowboy salesmen - and now Climate Change enforcers - to saddle people with uneconomic 'investments'). But that's to engage them on their own terms.
The more fundamental issue should be obvious: someone wants to replace their old boiler, with their own money. This will, of course, be an energy-saving measure in its own right. Where is the logic, let alone the morality, in saying: you can't carry out the energy saving investment of your own choice unless you do one I force on you too ?
Anything better designed to affront the middle classes is hard to imagine - though we can be sure there are people hard at work on this very task. The coalition is becoming a beleaguered government and it deserves it.