Snippa and reality

There’s the usual silliness of course:

The latter are my focus. I concentrate on comments in the Guardian. They note Ben Zaranko, a research economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies saying:

Both parties’ plans would represent a sharp change in policy, and Labour’s plans are especially ambitious. The key challenge for a government seeking to deliver investment on this scale – particularly in a short timeframe – will be finding worthwhile and viable projects in which to invest.

At which point I took a sharp intake of breath. First, that’s because the IFS has said in the past that, quite bizarrely, “they don’t do macro” and it has to be said that is true: they don’t, and it shows. So they are not out there looking for projects. And nor do they understand this issue. But there again, it’s also obvious that whatever macro that they do know is deeply conventional, which is apparent from their next comment…..


Macro would be the effect upon the whole economy – inflation, GDP growth, employment etc – of that increase in govt borrowing and spending. Whether there is actually a project worth spending the cash upon is micro.

But of course there’s also reality that has to be contended with.

The logic, and not the policies, is bankrupt. There is unemployment. There is a Green New Deal to do. And retrofitting double glazing could start any time soon, and is not hard to gear up. Nor is insulation.

But most of the double glazing and insulation has already been done (pages 29 to 31).

And what sodding unemployment?

14 thoughts on “Snippa and reality”

  1. “But most of the double glazing and insulation has already been done”

    At what point will it be proposed to fit triple or quadruple glazing everywhere? That’ll be great because almost nobody has it yet! So there’ll be plenty of work for all of those unemployed people to do, provided they are qualified glaziers!

  2. The report you linked suggests that only 2/3rds of houses (“residential properties with a loft”) have loft insulation. Why the buggery doesn’t everyone have it? It’s cheap, easy to do, and makes an immediate tangible improvement to the warmth of the house.

    Or, given that they haven’t actually conducted surveys on the entire housing stock, perhaps their statistics are plucked out of thin air?

  3. Andrew M,
    Perhaps a lot of them are rental properties. Landlords typically aren’t responsible for gas/electricity bills, so some proportion of them wont give a toss.

  4. There is unemployment. There is a Green New Deal to do. And retrofitting double glazing could start any time soon, and is not hard to gear up. Nor is insulation.

    The man has never, in 10 years of reading his drivel evinced any knowledge of any industry, certainly not construction and while 18 months spent on building sites doesn’t make me ‘Bob the Builder’, the man proves his reputation as the ultimate moron extant in cyberspace today.

    He seems to be under the impression that no qualifications are required to enter the building trade or that training facilities exist within our current education system that are adequate to the scale of the approach he and other acolytes of this ridiculous boondoogle advocate. A significant proportion of the workforce currently employed in the sector are highly skilled people (or even less skilled chancers) from Eastern Europe. So in effect Snippa proposes a massive transfer of wealth from taxpayers to Romania and Poland. What’s frustrating is that he and other moronic advocates of this are not called out time and again on these details. He evinces no knowledge of anything and the more stupid he can be made to appear the better.

  5. Silverite,
    In answer to my own question, 68% of houses have loft insulation thicker than 125mm, the cut-off used in the report. Only 1% have no insulation at all; the remainder (31%) have less than 125mm of insulation.

  6. I’m not permitted to fit double glazing, living in a conservation area built in the middle 1800s and, with solid walls, there’s no cavity to insulate. And this is true for much of the buildings in central Edinburgh.

    Perhaps he means we need to demolish the entire city centre and rebuild with “quality modern materials and craftsmanship”, which will last about 20 years before falling down?

    This is what you get from a modern end-terrace-dwelling troglodyte.

  7. Things may be different in Scotland, but in England it’s normally possible to get double glazing that can be approved for fitting to a listed building by the local council’s Conservation Officer. It will cost more than Everest or Anglia, though.

  8. Andrew M,

    Yeah, a lot of houses probably have about half of that. And getting 6cm of insulation does far more good than the next 6cm.

  9. For chemical plants operating at up to 120 deg C, 2-3″ of insulation + aluminium cladding is typical- calculations indicate that you lose about 1-1.5% of the plant heat load with that thickness. I can never understand the need for these enormous thicknesses of insulation required in buildings (12″!), which can have bad knock on effects on the design. It can’t possibly be worthwhile.

  10. @Andrew M November 8, 2019 at 12:35 pm

    Knowing how Gov’t mislead “No loft insulation” probably includes any with only whatever depths previous building regs specified



  11. I’ve got “conservation standard timber double-glazed sash windows with glazing bars” in my house, installed well before I became a parish councillor and it became our standard form of words for such developments. Modern stuff is even comparable in price to the plastic stuff when you’re installing it in over-100-year-old buildings.

    ObWhich, when I visit Facebook I have recently become bombarded with adverts saying “if your doors and windows are over five years old, you can get them replaced….”

    Five years old??? If they needed replacing after five years I’d be suing the manufacturers.

  12. If we assume that the householder got the biggest bang for his buck by replacing single glazed windows with double glazing (ie. about thirty years ago), then replacing those double glazed windows with new double glazed windows will pretty much have a negligible effect – diminishing returns and all that.

    Of course, this wouldn’t matter if someone just whacked a dirty great levy on the price of energy, whilst introducing the subsidy… trebles all round.

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