Briefing for talking to your MP

Ask them to speak in the debate on Feed-in Tariffs today.  Most important – ask them to vote for the motion that will delay the 12th December deadline and give the industry a chance to adjust to the changes that are needed.

Coalition MPs may not want to vote with the Labour Party – MPs can be very tribal – but if they vote against this but have told you that they are asking Ministers to reconsider the deadline, they are completely undermining any support they have given to a rethink.  It would be a total u-turn.

•    The speed of the announcement is ridiculous.  How can the cut come before the consultation is finished?  Cutting demand by 70-90% with six weeks notice (that’s the level of cuts in the Government’s Impact Assessment) will destroy many jobs and businesses before Christmas
•    The very worst that the industry could have expected on the basis of the 2008 Energy Act legislation and Ministerial statements this year was a “proper” fast track review making changes after a full and proper consultation and Parliamentary process ie March 2012.  The 12/12 announcement was a complete shock and has prompted three separate legal challenges
•    The money saved by such rapid cuts is tiny – making the cuts in April saves just £10m less than rushing them through in December (again, according to the Goverment’s own Impact Assessment.)
•    The total cost of the feed-in tariffs to date for all technologies is just 2p per month on a typical domestic energy bill.  In the first year of the feed-in tariff the actual spend of £11m on all technologies was three-quarters below the Government’s projected spend for the scheme.   Householders pay just 35% of that £11m.
•    The aim of FITs was to develop a solar industry in the UK.  Cutting so fast and so deep will dismantle what we have built.  If a Government project to build a piece of infrastructure like a railway or road scheme goes over budget, do Ministers normally demolish it again?
•    Before the election all parties agreed we needed to build a solar industry to bring down prices.  Since then, solar prices have fallen faster than expected.  Why is this a reason to shrink the solar industry?  It should be an argument for greater growth!
•    Everyone accepts the tariff should be reduced – but it should be predictable, in line with cost savings and with enough notice to adapt.
•    If your MP is a Conservative or a LibDem and tried to blame the previous Government for setting the scheme up badly, remind them their parties called for the FIT to be more ambitious.  92 Conservative and 62 LibDem MPs signed a Commons motion calling for a much more ambitious scheme before the election.  The Liberal Democrats promised to “triple” the ambition of the scheme before the election.  The Conservative party’s “Power to the People” document written by Energy Minister Greg Barker MP promised an uncapped feed-in tariff precisely to move us away from the stop start of previous grant schemes.
•    If your MP says “the money has run out” tell them that this is nonsense.  The FIT scheme is covered by a Treasury agreement which allows for an overspend or “headroom” of 20% on the headline budget.   The immediate crisis caused by the 12/12 announcement could be removed by a sensible application of that “headroom” if only there was the political will to do so.
•    Also remind them the industry called for a 25% cut in rates almost 6 months ago.  In February 2011, Chris Huhne promised Parliament a full review by the end of the year – but this still has not started.   Why should the industry now carry the can?
•    If your MP says we cannot put more money on the bills of the fuel poor, remind them that Conservative policy was to fund these through a “Decentralised Energy Fund”, not a levy on Bills.  They should find money to put into this now – just as they found money to empty bins weekly.  Point out that the total “burden” on domestic bill payers to date of funding the tariff has been just 2p per month at a time when the big six energy suppliers are making £175 profit per household.

This entry was posted in Campaign News. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>