Lynne Featherstone calls for cuts to solar energy to be rescinded


Following on from Ed Davey’s outspoken criticism of the Government’s cuts to subsidies for renewals, we hear that Lynne Featherstone has tabled a motion in the Lords calling for the cuts to the feed-in tariff subsidies for solar energy to be rescinded. These subsidies are being reduced by a huge 65% next month, which will lead to the loss of up to 18,700 jobs in the industry over the next four years.

This motion could result in another defeat in the Lords – something we have been growing used to since the notable Lib Dem campaign on tax credits.

Tim Farron is quoted in the Financial times:

The Conservatives claim they want to tackle climate change, but this is further evidence they don’t care about the environment.

The prime minister has not so much hugged a Husky as led it behind the coal shed, shot it in the head and told his energy secretary it has gone to live on a farm in the country.

* Mary Reid is a contributing editor on Lib Dem Voice. She was a councillor in Kingston upon Thames where she is still very active with the local party.

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  • Charles Rothwell 7th Jan '16 - 7:02am

    Interesting to hear Norman Baker give a talk about his time in government at the University of Leeds just before Christmas. When it came to green policies, his view was that you would not expect anything but short-term, simplistic “the market will sort it out” nostrums from most Tories (particularly the closer you moved towards their backbenchers), but his real ire was focused on the green lobby groups he worked with and who had consistently shown an ungrateful, churlish, critical stance on virtually any ecologically friendly measure Norman/the Liberal Democrats had advocated. It seemed they knew they would be (totally) wasting their time trying to talk with the Tories (who entirely ignored them in any case) and had decided to “kick their friends in government instead”. As Norman concluded, the lobby groups are now seeing fully the consequences of a majority Tory government instead! With Labour in melt-down, this whole agenda is one the party needs to reclaim, based on its excellent track record under people like Norman and Ed Davey.

  • David Blake 7th Jan '16 - 7:43am

    I agree about the response from green groups, who seem to adopt an almost Pavlovian reaction to the Lib Dems. I was quite critical of our time in coalition, but we really are seeing what the Lib Dems stopped the Tories doing.

  • Compare the current policies in USA and UK. US is moving forward with more renewables but UK’s government intends to reduce the growth in renewables. Could it be that the Tories are desperate to get fracking and believe we will all change on minds and vote for it because our power supplies are inadequate? The US is also working to improve power storage from renewables etc. Are we doing the same in UK? Our government should listen to the leaders in the renewable industies and not listen to spads and ministers with shares in the carbon creating sector. Our citizens need consistent policies not the constant undermining of successful ones by the Chancellor.

  • It would seem only natural that “green groups” would focus their anger on Lib Dems. After all, many many others who previously supported the party’s radical positioning did the same in their “cruel” (Nick Clegg) cull of May last year. Had the party shown more backbone in Coalition – no, they wouldn’t have been able to stop all the Tories’ retrograde policies on the economy, the environment, benefits, housing, devolution …. and a host of other things, but they would and could have demonstrated clearly that the Lib Dems’ heart was in another place than fully aligned with Tory dogma. They failed in that, and Norman Baker was just as involved as other ministers. If continuing, and defeated, parliamentarians continue with those views, we will take longer to recover. I remain convinced, as I did through much of the coalition, that some kind of apology for our past position is needed. Whether Tim Farron is capable of making that, I don’t know, he seems to be living in a sort of halfway house at the moment. In a way it reflects the position of the nuLabour members of the Shadow Cabinet at present, where they cannot bring themselves to realise that there is a different politics calling out there, and we need to demonstrate clearly we are on the side of that New Politics (as, for instance, Nick Clegg declared before the 2010 election!)

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