Shadow chancellor John McDonnell has strongly rebuked the government for its treatment of the domestic solar industry.
McDonnell, responding to chancellor Philip Hammond’s spring statement, said that the government had “single-handedly destroyed our solar industry”, adding that 12,000 jobs were lost as a result of cuts to subsidies.
His comments are perhaps the strongest condemnation of the Conservative’s stance on solar from a Labour front bencher to date and prompted jeers from across the House.
Cuts to solar subsidies started not long after the Conservatives swept to a majority win at the 2015 election. Proposals to cut both the Renewables Obligation and the small-scale feed-in tariff were announced that summer, and solar continues to be effectively locked out of Contracts for Difference auctions.
Those cuts have had significant effects on the domestic solar industry. Deployment under the feed-in tariff remains around 80% lower under the new regime and ground-mount solar installations have ground to a halt.
Read more: Solar Power Portal