At the ‘Time is Now’ climate lobby last week, one of the issues which was raised with me were reports that the VAT on solar panels was to be increased from 5% to 20%. I have written to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury to ask whether these reports are accurate.
I have also have investigated the Environment Bill and the briefing documents sent through to me by constituents.
I have written to the Secretary of State for the Environment to make the following points about the Environment Bill.
- The watchdog should be entirely independent and have “teeth” to effectively enforce environmental law, particularly relating to emissions.
- The environmental principles in the draft Bill are weaker than those in EU law. I noted I was under the impression that the Government’s stated aim was to ensure the UK strengthens environmental standards and laws, rather than weakening them, as we leave the EU.
- That the targets in the second part of the Bill should be able to be measured against objective targets.
- I sent the Secretary of State a copy of the Wildlife and Countryside Link’s pre-legislative scrutiny submission on the Bill.
Finally, concerns over National England’s funding and ability to meet its statutory duties were raised with me. I have raised these with the Secretary of State too.
I will report back when I have had a response from the Secretary of State.