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Alex uses budget speech to raise concerns of Energy Intensive Industries

Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham yesterday accused the Government of burying the bad news in the budget that will severely impact businesses in Teesside and beyond.

As part of the budget, the Chancellor has announced a tax that comes at a high cost for industry. The Government has said that in the instance of no mutually satisfactory agreement on the terms of Britain’s exit from the EU leading to the UK departure of the ETS (Emissions Trading System), the Government will introduce a Carbon Emissions Tax to help meet the UK’s legally binding carbon reduction commitments under the climate Change act.

The tax would apply to all stationary installations currently participating in the EU ETS from 1 April 2019, with a rate of £16 applying to each tonne of carbon dioxide emitted over and above an installation’s emissions allowance.

The average ETS price over the past 12 months has been just £12.30, which means that the changes in carbon taxes materialise in response to Brexit, it will cost individual firms millions.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Alex said:

“The EU Energy Trading Scheme is a market based instrument for which companies had developed a strategy over time to ensure they were able to comply. Now – on top of the perfect storm of high electricity and gas prices, this carbon tax, coupled with the doubling of Gas Climate Change Levy, is a very real issue for EIIs.

“The Government did publish a document on this last night and it betrays a fundamental change in policy in this area since the Brexit vote with no consultation with industry along the way.

“In the worst Brexit scenario of all, EIIs are being given an expensive fait accompli with no notice, no discussion and no impact assessment.

“This makes industry nervous. Rolled together, it serves to make the UK an unattractive place for EIIs to do business.”

Alex also used his budget speech to raise concerns such as the lack of police funding preventing local forces from being able to carry out their roles effectively, the impact that underfunding health and social care is having on the most vulnerable in our communities and his campaign for a new hospital for Stockton.