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Industry chief attacks government FIT 'own goal'

The government’s decision to cut solar feed-in tariffs has been branded an ‘own goal’ by an industry body.

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John Cridland, director general of the Confederation of British Industry, launched an attack on the government after it announced plans to reduce the FIT from 43.3p/kilowatt hour to 21p/kWh from 12 December.

Mr Cridland said the low-carbon sector risks being derailed in the UK by unexpected changes, with the loss of thousands of jobs.

Mr Cridland said: ‘A reduction was already on the cards from 1 April, but this will now come in by mid-December - before the consultation has even ended.

‘This is the latest in a string of government own goals, following the carbon reduction commitment becoming a pure revenue-raiser and the North Sea oil and gas tax.

‘Moving the goal posts doesn’t just destroy projects and jobs, it creates a mood of uncertainty that puts off investors and they wonder what’s coming next.

‘Some companies have invested heavily in solar photovoltaic systems, and in the supply chains needed to install them.

‘That commitment has been undermined by the feed-in tariff decision - and so industry trust and confidence in the government has evaporated. This bodes poorly for investment in future initiatives.’

Mr Cridland was speaking at the CBI’s east midlands annual dinner where he was calling for the government to create an industrial policy.

Inside Housing is calling for the social housing sector to be given an improved offer on feed-in tariff payments through our Green Light campaign. See our campaign page for more, or sign our petition to express your support.

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