NICOLA Sturgeon has been accused of “rank hypocrisy” after launching a stinging attack on cuts to renewable energy subsidies. The First Minister claimed Scotland’s green power potential was “at risk of being switched off” by UK Government policies which she condemned as “an absolute, total disgrace”. Her comments, during First Minister’s Questions, came a day after Finance Secretary John Swinney confirmed he was axing Â£10million of tax breaks for renewable firms in Scotland and were seized on by Conservative and Labour MSPs. Murdo Fraser, the Scots Tories economy spokesman, accused her of “rank hypocrisy” and Sarah Boyack, Labour’s environmental spokesman, said the First Minister had been “posturing” when she talked up Scotland’s record on green energy during last m onth’s Paris climate summit. Mr Swinney signalled in his budget last month that rates relief for renewable energy would end later this year. From April 1, only community-run schemes will qualify for the subsidy, known as the Renewable Energy Generation Relief Scheme, which offers green power companies rates rebates of up to 100 per cent. Scottish Renewables, the industry body which represents green power producers, said the decision was “disappointing” and would make the country’s renewable energy sector less economically viable.
Herald 15th Jan 2016 read more »