Ruth Kelly and Yvette Cooper were under increasing fire yesterday following the delay of homes information packs as opposition parties branded them 'disaster prone' and called for their sacking. Independent. Daily Telegraph. Financial Times

Yesterday, Tony Blair insisted the government would press on with the scheme and home energy efficiency certificates, which will now be introduced for homes with four or more bedrooms from 1 August, two months later than planned.

Packs for smaller homes have been put on ice until an army of home energy assessors has been recruited.

Estate agents said they would recommend all sellers of four-bedroom houses to remarket them as three-bedroom properties with an extra study or reception room. This would allow them to avoid paying for a £600 pack and save the time trying to find one of the few qualified inspectors.

Small businesses that have invested millions of pounds preparing for the introduction of home information packs are threatening the government with legal action.

Michael Lawson, the chief executive of Si Reports, a company set up to produce home information packs and energy performance certificates, said it stood to lose nearly £1m of investment because of the postponement.

'I've spoken to dozens of colleagues that like me have invested millions of pounds, and none of us in this industry thought there was a chance of this,' he said.