Labor’s solar panel rebate burns local businesses

Friday 3 May 2019

Labor’s so-called solar revolution has fizzled with local solar retailers and installers left in limbo after panel rebate applications closed for the remainder of the financial year.

Nationals Member for Ovens Valley Tim McCurdy said that interested clients planning to install solar panels have now shelved the work until rebate applications open again on 1 July 2019.

“This has left local businesses facing the possibility of downsizing operations including reducing staff numbers,” Mr McCurdy said.

“Solar Homes was launched by Labor in August last year and promised that rebates for eligible households for solar panels would be available until June 2019. In turn this would boost jobs and businesses.

Which it did. Until Labor realised they might just not have the means to keep their revolution alive.”

Mr McCurdy said that Labor did not tell Victorians the cost and length of the program until four months after Solar Homes was announced.

“And at the same time the number of homes the rebate would support in this financial year suddenly appeared from nowhere,” he said.

Labor’s January 2019 announcement advised that $1.24 billion would be available over the next 10 years for solar panels alone.

“If we look at that say on a yearly basis that’s $1.24 million each year. If we break that down further that’s over 55,000 rebates per year at the maximum of $2,225 per solar panel rebate,” Mr McCurdy said.

“And Labor has capped the solar panel rebates at 24,000 for this financial year?

You do the math.”

Mr McCurdy said that if Labor really cared about boosting jobs and businesses they would find the funds and re-open solar panel rebate applications.

“Meanwhile, there are local solar businesses out there grappling with a major reduction in jobs and the prospect of letting go valued employees,” he said.

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