Counting the cost of high prices

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Government initiatives to cut greenhouse gases by encouraging the development of biomass electricity plants that burn wood is causing prices of products like chipboard to soar, according to Yorkshire-based Howarth Timber and Building Supplies. Raw material costs have risen by 30 per cent, with a 10 per cent increase in the last quarter alone, says the company.

“Ill-conceived government legislation which offers subsidies to the electricity supply industry is driving the prices of timber to new highs,” said Howarth Timber’s Neale Brewster

“Higher costs to us have to be passed on to the consumer. It’s the last thing we want to do, especially as the construction industry has suffered a catastrophic knock during the recession.”