The rebellion against the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s (DECC) proposal to cut solar feed-in tariffs from December 12 is expected to gather momentum as Liberal Democrat councillors prepare to revolt. A large portion of councillors are now faced with angry solar supporters who fear imminent job cuts as a direct result of the deadline.
According to the Guardian, which has viewed a secret briefing document, many local Lib Dem politicians feel the decision to reduce the tariff rates four months earlier than expected is a betrayal of their core values. Many are now being advised to push for a postponement of the feed-in tariff cuts.
“To do it [bring in the cuts] at such short notice isn't good governance and bad for business planning. Changes were expected next year, not to be imposed with a month's notice. We want the cut-off point to be extended to the end of the financial year, as originally promised,” warns the briefing document, composed by the Lib Dem group within the Local Government Association (LGA).
“We fought the last general election on getting more green jobs. The feed-in tariff was helping to grow a new industry and get more people into work. We don't want to see this put at risk. [The cut] flies in the face of the government's hard work in schemes such as the regional growth fund and the growing places fund to help create employment,” it continues.
The group is concerned that not only will Government’s hasty decision threaten the future of social housing schemes, it will also undermine confidence in the upcoming Green Deal, which will be launched as the ‘greenest Government ever’s’ flagship climate change policy.
Government maintains that halving the feed-in tariff rate is necessary in order to remain within the £860m budget.