Labour launches campaign to block solar tax hike

The Labour Party is calling on the government to stop the solar panel tax hikes to protect jobs and investment in the industry. Shadow Energy Secretary Barry Gardiner has rallied […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

The Labour Party is calling on the government to stop the solar panel tax hikes to protect jobs and investment in the industry.

Shadow Energy Secretary Barry Gardiner has rallied other MPs, including MP for Wirral West Margaret Greenwood (pictured), to join campaigners, with the aim of pausing plans for a potential eight-fold tax increase on businesses using solar panels.

Those opposing the plans say the changes need to be “heavily scrutinised” before anything is changed.

Charity 10:10 claims state schools with solar panels would be negatively affected by the proposed increase while academies and private schools would be largely exempt due to their charitable status.

Mr Gardiner said: “It is a serious act of bad faith for ministers to press ahead with a huge tax hike on businesses that are doing the right thing by generating their own clean energy.

“Businesses made their investments in clean technology as a sound financial decision. They did not expect the government retrospectively to classify their investment so as to subject it to eight times the level of tax. This will cost some businesses more than the value of the energy they are saving and they will be forced to rip these solar panels off their rooftops.”

The government insists it is committed to providing secure, clean and affordable energy “now and in the future”.

A spokesperson said: “Solar deployment is a UK success story with almost 11GW of capacity now installed.

“Business rates are based on valuations from the independent Valuation Office Agency. We will look closely at the impacts of the forthcoming valuation and consult on how to make sure the right support is in place for businesses to adjust to any changes.”