Feed-in Tariffs (Closure, etc.) Order 2018 - Motion to Regret

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:15 pm on 4th March 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb Green 7:15 pm, 4th March 2019

My Lords, I thank all noble Lords who have contributed to this debate. I am always impressed by the ability of the noble Lord, Lord Teverson, to speak without notes, which I am afraid I can never do for that long. It was very good to hear from the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Salisbury, who expanded on the climate change aspect, which I tend not to do in this Chamber because I think people will get bored by my saying it, so I am delighted that he did. I thank the noble Lord, Lord Grantchester, who talked about a sensible climate change policy, which clearly this Government do not have.

With all respect, I listened very attentively to the Minister’s response and the first eight minutes of her speech bore absolutely no relation to what I had said. She said that renewables work; yes, we know they work. She said that the FiT works; yes we know that it works. There were phrases such as “the consumer should pay a fair share”. Does she not think that energy companies ought to pay a fair share as well, rather than getting energy from domestic suppliers for free? The Minister referred to market mechanisms, but the Government are not using them. If they were, I would understand a little better—but these are not market mechanisms. This is about taking something for nothing and giving it away, which is totally unfair. If the Government were able to say either that the gap will be closed or that people who export during a gap will get paid retrospectively for what they have exported, I would be, if not perfectly happy, then at least much happier.

On the Minister’s point about affluent people, I do not know who wrote her speech and I realise that she is very constrained in what she can say. But I say to whoever wrote her speech that I dealt with the affluence issue. This is not about only affluent people; some councils have installed solar panels on the houses on the poorest in their boroughs. Those people have benefited hugely, so it is not just the affluent, and I resent that argument being made when it is clearly not true.

What is the point of having a consultation if the Government do not listen to the results? That did not happen, as the noble Lord, Lord Grantchester, pointed out. I can say only that, while the debate has been a good one, the response from the Government was very poor. It makes me wonder what the point of this sort of debate is if the Government do not listen—if they do not understand that it is unacceptable for them not to accept that there could be not just a few jobs lost but thousands of jobs lost, as there were last time when the FiT was reduced. The Government are encouraging job losses and encouraging people to lose money by giving away their energy free to companies. Quite frankly, I am incredibly disappointed. I do not know what to say next, but I will withdraw the Motion.

Motion withdrawn.

House adjourned at 7.33 pm.