Shadow Minister for Wales Nia Griffith MP has warned that we are only days away from people across Wales being laid off work, as a direct result of the government rushing in 50% cuts to the Solar Panel Feed-in Tariff subsidy, which means that any panels that are not installed and up and running by 12th December will only get half the current rate of subsidy. There is a consultation open until 23rd December and the industry had been led to believe that any cuts would be small and would not be implemented until April 2012.
Nia Griffith, who is seeking an emergency meeting for solar industry representatives with Secretary of State Cheryl Gillan, explained
“The Government’s rushed changes to the Feed-in Tariff for solar PV will be catastrophic for solar industry in Wales, and give lie to the Government’s promise to be the “greenest government ever.” Solar Panel factories and installers across Wales, who have expanded and taken on new staff as a result of sales projections based on the original scheme, are now finding their markets collapsing. To make matters worse, firms are already having difficulty obtaining the necessary parts to complete existing jobs, because no manufacturer wants to be left with unsaleable stock, and firms have cash-flow problems because no-one wants to be owed money by an industry that is teetering on the brink of collapse. Big projects to install solar panels on thousands of housing association homes in Wales are now at risk, threatening jobs and apprenticeships. It is a kick in the teeth for all those families who want to do the right thing by investing in solar. This has been an area of economic growth, and it is complete madness for the government to choose to choke off that growth now.”
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