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Martin backs nuclear windfall tax

September 20, 2011 6:48 AM

CHELTENHAM MP Martin Horwood will back calls today (Tuesday) for a windfall tax on the nuclear power industry. The issue is being debated at the Liberal Democrat autumn conference in Birmingham. The nuclear industry is set to benefit by millions from the coalition government's policy of a 'floor-price for carbon' designed to support non-fossil fuel energy sources.

The motion to the Liberal Democrat conference praises coalition green initiatives including the establishment of a £3billion Green Investment Bank, incentives for renewable energy and electric vehicles and the Green Deal energy efficiency programme. But party members believe the proposed floor-price for carbon will deliver an undeserved bonus to the nuclear industry and are proposing an amendment backing a windfall tax on nuclear.

In a recent parliamentary question, Martin discovered that the cost to the taxpayer of decommissioning old nuclear power stations is already running at £2billion per year and is set to rise to £2.5billion by 2014.

Martin will tell delegates, "We already sink billions of taxpayer's hard-earned cash into this toxic technology. At a time of cuts and austerity, it is simply unacceptable to throw good money after bad. The government's carbon policy is going to support genuinely renewable energy but we need to make sure it doesn't subsidise nuclear power as well. A windfall tax will make the nuclear industry pay its fair share, and could be used to help keep down household energy bills."