In his “Carbon Budget” on December 6th 2007, Minister John Gormley announced new legislation banning the sale of the normal incandescent light-bulbs from January, 2009.
This caused consternation among manufacturers, builders, householders and retailers.
Light-bulb manufacturers would have to change their equipment and processes as well as manage stock levels and the transition from old to new bulbs. When they sought detailed guidelines it transpired that it was only a light-bulb in the Ministers head, nothing had been planned and he’d be holding a consultation process.
Builders with unfinished houses/apartment blocks were faced with a dilemma. Should they continue to install the downlighters, dimmers etc., or should they change the lighting design altogether – given that no suitable non-incandescent replacements were then available. It’s worth remembering that downlighters and “mood lighting” involving dimmer switches have become popular among the
Householders with existing fittings – dimmer switches, downlighters etc. were worried that, in 12 months time, they would be unable to get replacement bulbs.
Now we’re doing it the way it should have been done from the start – on an EU-wide basis, with a reasonable lead-in time for all interested parties.
The Gormley approach illustrates the extreme danger to the economy posed by allowing the Greens too much influence. The ideas are often worthy, but they are thrown out in a top-of-head way which causes confusion among those who make their living in the real economy. They haven’t been thought through in sufficient detail – which is a clear responsibility of those making Government policy.
The change in the VRT/Road tax regime last year was another good example. By introducing it in mid-year, the initiative effectively killed the motor trade in the first half of the year – when they traditionally achieve over 80% of new car sales.
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