Report (2nd Day)

Part of Energy Bill [HL] – in the House of Lords at 5:00 pm on 21st October 2015.

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Photo of Lord Howell of Guildford Lord Howell of Guildford Conservative 5:00 pm, 21st October 2015

I did not want to make an intervention on an intervention, but may I say something now? I agree that we are talking about whether Clause 66 should stand, but the argument has constantly been widened, and the noble Baroness who just intervened raised again the question of what all this does to energy costs, and whether energy costs are important. The noble Baroness, Lady Worthington, made some comments about that as well. The facts are the facts. The director of the Energy Intensive Users Group has said that,

“a third of the cost of industrial electricity bills in Britain is being spent on green energy taxes, such as the two-year-old carbon price floor support mechanism … and this would rise to about half of all bills by 2020”.

The director of UK Steel has said that,

“rising energy costs were a critical reason for the crisis afflicting the industry, which also led to the collapse of the SSI steel plant in Redcar last month”.

And so it goes, on and on. We cannot just dismiss all this. It cannot be pushed away. I agree that it should not be the central issue in the debate on this clause, but some of the remarks that have been made cannot be allowed to stand unchallenged, because they are just not true.