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Spring Budget receives industry backlash

The Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology has expressed disappointment over the lack of sector-wide measures in response to the Spring Statement

The Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA) has voiced its dissatisfaction with the measures outlined in the Spring Budget, stressing the need for broader support for the UK’s transition to a net zero economy.

While the REA welcomed certain targeted policies, including an increase in the Contracts for Difference (CfD) budget to over £1 billion and investments in zero-carbon aircraft and automotive technology, it lamented the absence of comprehensive measures to bolster the renewables sector.

Frank Gordon, Director of Policy, REA said: “This is a political budget above all that does not reflect the urgency of net zero and while we welcome the CfD budget announced alongside the Spring Statement today and extension of the windfall tax on oil and gas excess profits, this is disappointing overall.

“In particular, the Chancellor had promised the sector a response to the US investment in green supply chains and manufacturing at the last fiscal event and to see very little once again on how we can ensure the UK does not miss out on the vital green jobs and investment up for grabs is very disappointing.”

In response to the Budget, Adam Scorer, Chief Executive of National Energy Action (NEA), expressed disappointment over the lack of support for fuel poor households, noting the impending end of energy crisis support and the limited provisions made in the Spring Statement.

Adam Scorer said: “Energy prices may be reducing but bills will remain almost 50% higher than pre-crisis levels. Cost-of-living payments and energy crisis rebates are a thing of the past and 6 million households across the UK will suffer in fuel poverty, struggling to stay warm at home.”

Similarly, Independent Age criticised the Budget for its failure to adequately address pensioner poverty, emphasising the need for transformative change to improve the financial security of older people.

Meanwhile, the Fuel Bank Foundation called for longer-term crisis support to assist families struggling with rising energy costs, urging the government to prioritise the development of a clear plan to provide essential safety nets.

Matthew Cole, head of the Fuel Bank Foundation, said: “Notwithstanding the fact energy prices are reducing, they remain 50% over pre-crisis levels. Families struggling to fund the energy they need face a very genuine fear they will be on their own when the Household Support Fund is withdrawn.”

The RAC acknowledged the decision to keep fuel duty low but highlighted concerns over retailers potentially offsetting benefits to drivers, amidst rising fuel prices driven by increases in oil prices.

RAC head of policy Simon Williams said: “Despite today’s positive news it’s still the case that drivers are once again enduring rising prices at the pumps, sparked by the oil price going up – the average cost of a litre is already up by more than 4p since the start of the year.”

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