Released on Friday the 3rd of July, the analysis of the Green Alliance has said the DECC could have just over £350mn for all non-ring-fenced activity in 2017-2018 – which includes; health, education, development budgets and major DECC programmes. The Green Alliance has estimated that once all official and unofficial projected spending was taken into account the resource spending would be dramatically cut and by 2018-19 only £40mn would be available for all staffing, analysis and policy implementation functions – from £402mn in 2014-15.
Former energy secretary Ed Davey said that “cutting DECC’s head count so dramatically would damage economic growth and undermine private investment.
“The main effect of slashing the headcount at DECC will be cutting economic growth and undermining private sector investment. It is Osbornomics at its worst, the department is an economic powerhouse for the UK, with energy infrastructure investment dwarfing investments in transport, communications and water combined.”
The report by Green Alliance said “These cuts would result in a dumbed down DECC. This unusual, but dramatic, ring-fencing effect could reduce DECC’s resource spending by as much as 90 per cent by 2018-19, curtailing the department’s ability to make sure the UK has secure, clean, affordable energy supplies and promote international action to mitigate climate change.”
Matthew Spencer, Green Alliance’s director has said “This was a small department with a big impact on British economy and it determines pretty much the future of the UKs energy infrastructure. DECC has two big peculiarities in its budget. It has a huge historical liabilities, principally from nuclear industry, which is not officially protected, but it’s hard not to spend money on keeping nuclear waste safe. Secondly, DECC has a much bigger capital spend, and government has said it’s going to protect capital spending”
How does this affect me, the consumer?
Jim Watson of the UK Energy Research Centre, Catherine Mitchell of the University of Exeter, and Paul Ekins at University College London warned of higher household energy bills for consumers if DECC’s budget was cut too far.
“Costs to consumers from energy policy are likely to be higher, and energy supply less secure, if government does not protect its in-house expertise to negotiate contracts with the energy industry, to complete energy market reform, and to develop new energy saving programmes for the most vulnerable customers, it’s vital that government protects its impressive track record in climate diplomacy”.
Scott Byrom energy expert makes this concluding statement: “This is a crushing blow to DECC’s existence and their mission “to power the country and protect the planet”. Instead, it looks like they’ll be unable to do either thanks to suggested cuts imposed by a government who look set to pull a U-turn on energy efficiency to reduce bills, secure sustainable energy sources and protect the environment. Combined with a ruthless pursuit of rolling out fracking, the future of the UK energy market looks bleak for the majority of us unless you have a large shareholding in companies such as Cuadrilla”.
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