A general election’s been called – I’m off to buy a lottery ticket
24th Apr 2017
In case you didn’t know, there will be a general election on June 8th. From the moment the previous Prime Minister announced he was resigning, I’ve told whoever would listen there would be an early election – it was always glaringly obvious.
When I had lunch the other week, with the current Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman, (who I’ve known for years) I predicted this outcome. He denied it of course. With such foresight, I’m off to buy a lottery ticket.
Since the announcement last week, I have been asked what this might mean for our industry. So here are a few thoughts:-
- An increased Conservative majority will give the PM more wriggle-room around Brexit. Newly elected MPs, from seats previously seen as Opposition safe seats, will owe their loyalty to her. That counts for a great deal when compromises are agreed.
- I suspect energy prices will come into focus, perhaps with a manifesto commitment to act. What this brings into play are any government levies such as ECO, which the energy companies will blame for their increases.
- The smart meter programme timetable will be eased (see above for why) and there may even be calls for a more systematic review.
- The 2020 EU renewable targets, although not mandatory, will not be met.
- Whilst the 2050 international climate change obligations will stay, I suspect there will be some easing in the pace to make change (no hugging a husky).
- If the international aid budget and commitment is under threat, I suspect the same could be true for organisations such as the Climate Change Committee.
Not all of these may come true. And I am not advocating that they do. But after the campaign is over, on June 9th, our industry will once again be dealing with the uncertainty of a new government. Something, frankly, that the energy industry is all too familiar with. As for me, I’ll be spending my lottery winnings!
Mike Foster, CE
EUA's Chief Executive
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