‘Solar tax hike will hit Burnley firms’ MP

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Burnley MP Julie Cooper met with small businesses and industry in Parliament this week to call out a proposed tax hike for some schools and businesses installing solar panels on their properties.

Mrs Cooper MP said, “It is completely unacceptable that the Tories would dramatically increase the tax bill on businesses and state schools choosing to generate their own clean power.

“I am proud to stand up for the businesses and schools in Burnley that are installing solar panels on their rooftops. The government must re-think these harmful and misguided plans. As it stands many state schools who have installed solar panels would lose out whilst private schools and academies would be protected; this cannot be morally defensible.

“The new tax rates will be published by a government agency before the end of September and will come into force on April 1st, 2017. I am calling on the government to intervene before the end of September to allow more transparent scrutiny of these plans which would increase this solar tax by six to eight times the current rate. I will be writing to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark, to spell out to him how serious a threat the proposals present to the non-domestic solar industry.

“Enough jobs have already been lost in this sector at a time when industries offering progressive, clean energy solutions should be receiving support rather than being penalized.

“Theresa May’s anti-business government is changing the goal posts after investment decisions have been made.”

Leonie Greene, Head of External Affairs at the Solar Trade Association, writing on the Solar Power Portal, issued a ‘call to arms’ to the trade urging them to challenge the proposed increase.

“Rather than tax bombshells, it is clear that the industry needs and wants to see a positive tax regime to reward responsible companies,”