Brexit ‘could help UK to reverse solar VAT hike’, Conservatives claim
Leaving the EU with a Brexit deal could help the UK Government reverse its recent VAT hike on domestic solar and energy storage, a Conservative MP and former MEP has claimed.
On Tuesday (1 October), the UK Government implemented a 20% tax on solar panels for domestic installation.
The tax was up fourfold from the previous 5% rate, which still applies to coal and gas, and the decision prompted the ire of green groups, mayors and citizens alike.
Responding to a question regarding why the move was made amid the incumbent Government’s decision to legislate for net-zero by 2050, Vicky Ford MP said the UK was forced to raise the tax rate as part of its EU membership.
“Within the customs union, we have to have the same VAT level,” the Chelmsford MP and former MEP told delegates at the Conservative Party Conference.
“I’m sometimes sceptical about the comments about the benefits of leaving the EU but this is one.”
More broadly, the Conservative Party Conference has given Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers and Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom the opportunity to outline the Tories’ manifesto for reaching net-zero.
The manifesto details plans to plant more than one million trees and sets aside £1bn for electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing. On energy, it features a commitment to build a £220m net-zero nuclear fusion plant by 2040, and, on the built environment, details a new Future Homes Standard that will be introduced in 2025.