Ministers are set to ditch green vows to fight inflation and help business

Ministers are set to ditch key green pledges in order to help ­consumers and businesses fight high inflation.

The Government has postponed reforms that would see manufacturers pay the cost of recycling their packaging.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said the Extended Producer Responsibility scheme will be deferred a year from October 2024 to 2025.

Steve Gough, chief executive at the UK’s largest compliance scheme Valpak, said: “With consumers under significant pressure from the cost-of-living crisis, both Government and business are struggling to balance budgets against a commitment to progress with environmental improvements.”

Retail bosses had argued the reforms would cost manufacturers £2billion a year and likely prompt further price increases.

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Tory MPs have urged Rishi Sunak to ditch green policies in the hope of attracting voters at the next general election.

The UK’s ban on new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 had been thrown into doubt by Mr Sunak this week.

Officials also said there could be an extension to the 2028 deadline for landlords in the private rented sector to have to make energy efficiency improvements to their properties. Speaking earlier this week, Housing Secretary Michael Gove said: “My own strong view is that we’re asking too much too quickly. I think we should relax the pace.”

Mr Gove warned about “treating the cause of the environment as a religious crusade”.

Some senior Conservatives, including Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg, have been calling for delays to climate pledges after the Tories narrowly held on to Uxbridge and South Ruislip in last week’s by-election.

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Labour’s failure to win Boris Johnson’s old seat has been widely attributed to local unease over the expansion of London’s £12.50 a day Ultra Low Emission Zone scheme to the capital’s suburbs by the party’s London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

Party leader Sir Keir Starmer said yesterday he has asked Mr Khan to “reflect on” the rollout of Ulez.

Robbie MacPherson, from climate group Uplift, said: “We have seen what happens when governments ‘ditch the green crap’.

“Energy bills spike, climate breakdown worsens and struggling households pay the price.”

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