Conor McGinn MP has backed a local firm and slammed the Government for betraying them and Britain’s renewable energy sector.
Speaking in Parliament, McGinn raised concerns about the effect cuts to feed-in-tariff and a proposed increase in VAT for residential solar could have upon solar energy firms, including St Helens firm and Saints sponsor Solar King, which employs 200 people locally.
In December, the Government announced that feed-in-tariffs would be cut by 64% and proposed increasing VAT for residential solar by up to 15%.
The Solar Trade Association has estimated that over 1000 jobs have been lost in the solar industry since the government proposed cuts to feed-in-tariff.
Commenting McGinn said:
“The Government’s promise of a ‘solar revolution’ lies in tatters.
“The double whammy of cuts to feed-in-tariff and planned increase in VAT are seriously concerning for companies like Solar King.
“Current government plans will harm the solar industry in UK and cost jobs here in St Helens, and the whole Tory approach seems at odds with climate change commitments made in Paris.
“The Energy Secretary should listen to the concerns of renewable energy companies in my constituency and across the UK. However, given her continuing refusal to meet me and companies based in St Helens to discuss these issues, I don’t hold out much hope that she will.”
Graham King, the CEO of Solar King, said:
“Conor is right to raise the issue in Parliament; we have just had to cut the workforce by over 50% because of the reduced tariff.
“20% VAT for residential solar would cause further issues as it would lead to a price increase, which obviously means its less attractive to customers.”