Never in parliamentary history has the chancellor accepted an amendment to a budget resolution... until yesterday when George Osborne was forced by the Labour Party into accepting two.
The first on tampon VAT and the second from Clive Lewis, Shadow Energy Minister (and Rebecca Long-Bailey Shadow Treasury exchequer secretary) on the planned VAT hike to 20% on renewables and energy efficiency including solar panels.
The Solar Trade Association say this VAT change would have cost the renewables and energy efficiency sector approximately £200m. For the solar industry alone this would have meant thousands of job losses, many across the Eastern region. It would also have cost the average family looking at home solar installation an extra £1,000.
Labour's Shadow Energy Minister and Norwich South MP Clive Lewis said:
"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%.
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’”