During questions submitted to the Department of Climate and Energy Change (DECC), Greg Barker revealed the full cost to the taxpayer of DECC’s legal challenges. Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Caroline Flint, submitted the question:
“To ask the Secretary of State and Climate Change costs his Department has incurred in the case of Homesun Holdings Ltd v Secretary of State and Climate Change.”
To which the Minister replied:
“I estimate that the Government have incurred costs of approximately £66,400 to date in relation to the application for judicial review made jointly by Homesun, Solarcentury and Friends of the Earth. In the event that we are successful on appeal we would expect to recover all, or a substantial proportion, of our costs.”
The figure revealed by DECC does not include the reported six-figure legal fees of Homesun, which the Court ordered DECC to cover on loss of the appeal. As DECC has confirmed that it will be seeking leave to appeal at the Supreme Court, the cost to the taxpayer is only set to escalate further.
During heated oral questions submitted to the Secretary of State for Energy and Cliamte Change, North Tyneside Labour MP, Mary Glindon asked Huhne: “How much more public money does he intend to waste fighting the court ruling?”
To which Huhne replied: “I would merely point out to we have spent a few thousand pounds in order to save consumers £1.5 billion – which is what would have happened if we had left this case to run.”
Huhne continued: “The reality is that the benches opposite, when they were in Government, introduced a scheme that was fundamentally flawed and, as with other issues, we are putting Labour’s mess right.”
Huhne’s full written ministerial statement regarding the feed-in tariffs following the Court of Appeal’s ruling can be read here.
The oral questions submitted to the Secretary of State for Energy and Cliamte Change in the House of Commons can be viewed below: