Prime Minister Orders Review Into Green Energy Taxes
The Coalition was riven by bitter infighting over green taxes last night after David Cameron ordered a review to stem the rise in energy bills. But major change is likely to be frustrated by deep-seated opposition from the Lib Dems.
Green taxes have been blamed for pushing energy prices to record levels, but the Prime Minister’s intervention met fierce opposition from the Lib Dems.
They insist the Government’s green energy targets are sacred.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said it would be ‘short-sighted and foolish’ to try to cut energy bills in the short term by tearing up the Government’s environmental policies.
But Downing Street said it was right to include green energy subsidies in a wider review of measures designed to ease the financial squeeze on families.
The review is expected to focus on the £1.3billion-a-year Energy Companies Obligation (Eco) scheme, which the energy firms claim will add £100 a year to bills.
But other green taxes, including subsidies for windfarms and the so-called carbon price floor, which is expected to raise £1billion a year for the Government, could also come under the spotlight.
Chancellor George Osborne is also pushing for changes to green subsidies and taxes to ease energy prices. [...]
Some Tory ministers are pushing for the party to enter the next election pledging to scrap, water down or delay a string of green measures to bring down energy bills.
Mr Osborne is keen to see some progress before his autumn statement on the economy in December.
But major change is likely to be frustrated by deep-seated opposition from the Lib Dems.
‘The Tories can say what they want, but we will not back down on this,’ a Lib Dem source said last night.