Norwich MP spearheads solar energy tax u-turn

Clive Lewis has said suspending Parliament is 'undemocratic.' Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Clive Lewis has said suspending Parliament is 'undemocratic.' Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire - Credit: PA

A planned hike in VAT on solar panels will be curbed after an amendment was tabled by MP Clive Lewis.

The Norwich South MP, who is a shadow energy minister has called for a vote to keep VAT on energy saving products at 5pc, and not increased to 20pc.

He was poised to be backed by some Conservative eurosceptics angered at the move which was sparked by a ruling from the European Court of Justice last year that VAT should be charged at the full rate.

The prime minister's spokesman indicated the government would not stand in the way of Mr Lewis' amendment.

Mr Lewis said that for the solar industry alone it would have meant thousands of job losses, many across the Eastern region.

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'The Chancellor's shambolic climbdown on the solar tax shows the government are in complete disarray. We will keep up the pressure to ensure this promise is honoured in the Finance Bill so that clean energy jobs are protected and families aren't punished for doing the right thing by installing solar panels to reduce carbon emissions for future generations.

'This a rare bit of good news for solar after the Tories have spent the entire parliament clobbering the industry - cutting solar farms and trying to slash the Feed in Tariff to homeowners by 83%.

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'In the most ridiculous move, the Tories have extended the Climate Change Levy (a special tax on dirty energy) to cover electricity produced by solar - ridiculed by Friends of the Earth as 'like putting an alcohol tax on apple juice''

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