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Lord Turnbull: The Economic Burden Of Renewables

House of Lords, 9 March 2010: […] The real scandal here brings me to my third point, which is a constitutional one. It is clear that the promotion of renewables, particularly those of microgeneration, will cost many billions of pounds, most of which will be paid by adding a surcharge to household and company bills. Much of the burden will fall on families of modest means, and the benefit will go to the better off.

There is not much scope for installing wind turbines and solar panels on the tower blocks in which many of our poorest families live. A big house with a big roof and big grounds-dare I say it, even an estate-would of course be ideal. Worse still, not a penny of this money will feature in any Chancellor’s budget, and none of it will be recorded in the Government’s financial accounts.

None of the subsidies will be voted on by Parliament in estimates and none of the receipts will be voted on in a Finance Bill. It will all be done by netting off electricity bills. That offends every canon in the role of Parliament in approving tax and spending.

Full speech