Barker under-fire over cuts comment

Climate change minister Greg Barker has come under-fire from renewable industry chiefs after bragging about spending cuts.

Mr Barker, who was speaking in the US, is reported to have claimed the coalition was: “making cuts that Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s could only have dreamt of.”

The Tory minister, who fronted a much criticised 72% cut in Feed-In Tariffs (FITs) for the solar industry last month

Renewable Energy Association’s photovoltaic specialist, Ray Noble, said: “This is an absolute disaster.

“No new projects will start if this proposal becomes law. This industry has been strangled at birth, the huge number of envisaged new jobs will disappear.”

British solar developer mO3 chief executive, Ken Moss, said: “Everybody knows feed-in-tariffs and solar subsidies are paid for by increased energy bills to consumers.

“What is so upsetting is the way the DECC wants to distribute the money, we have to develop all means of low-carbon energy production but by effectively ending the British solar industry in its infancy the DECC is drastically reducing our options.

A Conservative Party source said Mr Barker had made an ‘unfortunate choice of words’ and ‘dreamt of’ made the size of the cuts sound ‘aspirational’.

Luke Walsh

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