HomeSun Legal Challenge
HomeSun legally challenges the UK government
HomeSun, the leading free solar PV company, yesterday threatened formal legal proceedings against the Government by judicial review. The claim is expected to be filed early next week.
In the letter to Chris Huhne, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, HomeSun claims:
· that the government consultation is a sham because it has already decided to change the tariff from 12th December. Making decisions before receiving industry feedback makes a mockery of the consultation process
· that the 12 December cut-off date is irrationally short, since it fails to provide the industry with reasonable time to re-orient their businesses to a reduced tariff.
Daniel Green, CEO of HomeSun says: “The fact that the consultation is a sham was clear from the date of the FIT announcement, 31 October 2011. Whilst the consultation paper pretended that 12th December was not fully decided, this was untrue. Greg Barker’s unambiguous statement in Parliament on the same day, ‘The cut-off date will be 12 December’, made the position clear. Greg Baker’s statement effectively admitted that the coalition government was acting unlawfully.
“The fix on 12th December was reiterated by the Minister yesterday” said Daniel Green who attended a crisis meeting between solar industry leaders and Greg Barker yesterday. “As a direct consequence, 25,000 people risk losing their jobs before Christmas, and businesses will go to the wall. If this date is not put back then the government’s ‘green’ platform collapses. Our lawyers advise us that they consider this to be one of the clearest examples of unlawful behaviour by the coalition government. Creating a cut-off date midway through a consultation when, in fact, the cut-off date itself should be subject to consultation makes a mockery of the whole consultation process. This is a stealth move to kill of an industry which gave the coalition government a ‘green’ stamp when it needed it.”
These thoughts are mirrored today by John Cridland, the CBIs director-general who says: “A new industrial policy needs to recognise the real-time costs of these decisions, and should set out a clear path that investors understand and believe in.”
Daniel Green continued: “FITs have given the government excess of £280m from taxes and VAT, and the cost has been only been £220m. The net profit is £50m. But money is made by Treasury and the ‘spend budget’ is with Chris Huhne and DECC. In the meeting yesterday, Greg Barker made it clear that Treasury and DECC are not talking. We believe that the coalition government must join the dots and do the math if they want to see genuine commercial growth’.
Notes to editors
On 11th November, HomeSun issued a letter before claim to Chris Huhne, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change threatening judicial review of the government’s unlawful decision if a satisfactory response is not received by Monday 14th November.
The FITs review consultation: http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/consultations/fits_comp_rev1/fits_comp_rev1.aspx