By Martin Kelly
A Scottish MP has reacted with fury after the Scottish Parliament was stripped of a key energy power after a House of Lords amendment was backed by Unionist MPs.
SNP Energy spokesman Mike Weir MP slammed the vote, which saw powers over renewable obligation brought back under the control of Westminster.

Commenting on the debate in the House of Commons on the Lords amendment to the Energy bill – and in particular Amendment 54 which removed the Scottish parliament’s powers in respect of renewables obligation in Scotland – Mr Weir said:

“This is an outrageous example of the unionist parties ganging up to remove powers from the Scottish parliament.  Worse still they did so by introducing last-minute amendments in the unelected House of Lords, rather than having the courage to debate it on the floor of the House of Commons.”

Renewables Obligation Certificates are green certificates issued by energy watchdog Ofgem to operators of renewable generating stations for the renewable electricity they generate.  Renewable obligation ensures suppliers source an increasing proportion of the electricity they supply to customers from renewable sources.

Mr Weir revealed that there had been no consultation with the Scottish Government or the Scottish Parliament prior to the introduction of the amendment.

The SNP MP added: “…nor when challenged in the Commons did the minister or his Labour front bench counterpart have any reasonable explanation as to why this happened in such an underhand manner.

“This is yet another example of Tories and Labour ganging up at Westminster against Scotland’s interests and removing powers from Scotland.  Whilst the No campaign talk about vague promises of more powers if people vote No , the reality is they are removing Scotland’s existing powers by stealth.

“The only way it can be stopped is with a Yes vote next September.”

The loss of the power over Renewables Obligation came on the same day that the UK Government announced it was to cut the amount of subsidy to onshore wind generation in favour of offshore.

The coalition has announced a cut in support for onshore wind and solar energy and slightly increased backing to offshore wind and hydro power, however the SNP has said they have failed to take into consideration the different challenges facing Scotland’s islands – with the one size fits all strike price.

Under the new provision, the UK Government guarantees to pay offshore wind developers the difference between wholesale power prices and a fixed strike price of £140 pounds per megawatt-hour (MWh) for the 2018/19 fiscal year, £5 more than its provisional subsidy figures in June.  The price for onshore drops by the same amount to £70.

Accusing the UK government for failing to recognise the different needs of Scotland’s islands, SNP MP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar Angus MacNeil said:

“All islands are different – and have different costs associated with renewable energy – and I am disappointed to see the UK government package the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland together.

“While Scotland’s islands are home to enormous amounts of potential renewable energy, producers face higher costs from harnessing these resources. Following intensive pressure from the Scottish Government and Scotland’s renewables sector, those cost pressures were recognised with the confirmation that there will be a specific strike price for islands, however the UK Government has failed to recognise the different needs.  

“What is the point in having Alistair Carmichael as Scottish Secretary of State – an islands MP- if they cannot deliver for Scotland’s islands?

“At the Treasury his colleague and fellow Highlands & Islands MP, Danny Alexander, is failing to deliver for renewable energy- first he undermined the oil and gas sector in the 2011 budget, and now it’s renewables. Surely it’s not beyond the wit of the Lib Dem’s Highlands and Islands MPs to get together and ensure that the necessary support is there.

“With community support, island renewables will bring much needed jobs and investment to the islands and ensure that we share in the full economic benefits of Scotland’s ambitious renewable energy targets.”

[Newsnet Scotland will now begin the process of slowing down as we approach Christmas. Visitors may notice fewer news stories and reduced turnover over the coming days.

However we can reveal that this week will see the third instalment of Duggy Dug, this time looking at the pound – a timely subject for our animated character and a belter of an animation.

As we approach Christmas look out also for our ‘Dirty Dozen’ feature article that will list the twelve worst examples of questionable broadcasts from BBC Scotland. If you have someone who believes the BBC is impartial then this article will open their eyes.

This coming week will also see the BBC Trust reveal its decision on the BBC’s handling of the Lucinda Creighton episode.

Newsnet Scotland, despite being in festive slowdown, will bring you the decision first and will also reveal all of the evidence as submitted by the BBC. We are sure it will prove fascinating reading.]


2013-12-05 01:33

A warning to all who think the powers of the Scottish parliament are safe if it remains a devolved parliament. Only with a YES vote does Scotland secure its future.
2013-12-05 03:47

We’ll soon sort this out.

But only an idiot thinks you can have an upper chamber that is elected. Unless that is you happen to be one of these despots who like dictatorial politically idealistic government! Welcome to the Stalin’s ideal!
2013-12-05 09:20

What !?!?!
Of course it is perfectly possible to have an elected second chamber. One house should be elected for fixed term in years 1, 5, 9 etc, and the second (possibly smaller to check and ratify )
In years 3, 7, 11 etc
This would provide fore variations in public opinion and ensure increased democratic accountability

Simples 😉

2013-12-05 04:39

My blood has just cooled down to boiling point 🙁
2013-12-05 05:54

Welcome to the vote NO campaign.
Motto – watch yer backs.

Vote YES, Vote Scotland.
2013-12-05 07:22

Power devolved is power retained.

Let that be a lesson. Who still believes that Westminster can be trusted with a devolution journey?
2013-12-05 07:25

True colours showing now.
2013-12-05 08:01

Shocking…but is this part of a bigger more sinister plan?? These articles show how the same is happening elsewhere and I have no doubt it is down to the lobbying by power companies and oil corporations : Also the fact that China is now dominating the market for cheap solar panels, much to the consternation of the west…/……/…
2013-12-05 11:39

That was my first thought, I do think we have to be very alert and wary about what they have in store for Scotland and for the referendum.
This is a despicable act from the westminster government, and the fact it has not been reported in the msm is another indication of total bias against the Scottish referendum and in fact the Scottish people. It has been going on for far too long.

2013-12-05 08:14

Westminster democracy? Where?

Don’t worry Old Boy – It’s only those Scotchlanders.
Leader of the Pack
2013-12-05 08:22

Well well well what an eye opener to all those pro devolutionists. What Westminster giveth Westminster can taketh away.
So who supports Devo max now then?
2013-12-05 08:48

Westminster has bought into the nuclear lobby. They consider themselves off the hook for power generation, and to a degree excused duty over renewables. They are trying to shove the ‘Green Deal’ to insulate homes with no regard to the ventilation. Incidences of condensation & dry rot will spiral. You can’t make money from ventilation, but stuffing in insulation into every crevice on the ‘green’ ticket is big business.

Scotland has got the message about a greener future for the planet, but we need independence to protect and nurture will to actually make the right changes.

It’s not all one way traffic. The Green Band Wagon has its share of freeloaders in Scotland too, and some curiously marginal technologies earn their ‘green’ credentials rather too easily.

All the same, there is opportunity and wisdom in Scotland to choose another path, but there is that ‘choose’ word again. Without independence, we can choose nothing.
2013-12-05 09:20

We might choose to keep an eye on this……/…
2013-12-05 10:34

Interesting article on thorium Breeks, but we know it will never happen. Laser Power Systems will be bought out by some power related entity and shelved….never to be heard of again.

2013-12-05 09:04

The House of Lords is the largest legislature in Europe – and it is wholly unelected.

This was all very well in the 17th century, when Europe was ruled by hereditary despots and British political life revolved entirely around patronage, favour and corruption, but now it is an abomination in a time when Westminster’s power now revolves around …er… patronage, favour and corruption.

The sooner we are shot of such undemocratic and morally bankrupt vestiges of empire the better.
2013-12-05 09:08

Deeply disturbing piece on realities of devolution; otherwise known as sovereignty retained or the tugged leash !

Shame on the NO side; wake up undecided’s this is your future being tampered with by your so called betters!

Unelected costume wearing, swill troughers = former Scots LABOUR politicians included; how proud you all must be.

Vote Britain ! (Aye sure!!!)
2013-12-05 09:29

Blair wanted a Scottish parliament with the clout of a county council. By stealth its powers will be clawed back by the Westminster. Like naughty children we shall be rebuked for our presumption. Vote No , your grounded, get back to your room you ingrates!
2013-12-05 09:38

So this is democracy, westminster style.

A bunch of overpaid, unelected expense junkies make decisions that will negatively effect Scotland.

The sooner we are shot of the whole lot of them the better. We will have our say in September 2014. Choose carefully.
2013-12-05 09:56

I see the media in Scotland are falling over themselves to tell everyone about this

2013-12-05 10:00

O/T. The expected announcement today by George Osborne about the rise in pension ages albeit not till 2030s and beyond, to me signals the Tories’ intention to get rid of the state pension. Unless you have another source of pension you will just not be retiring. Of course this will be music to the ears of the financial service sector as that will mean more “customers” for them. This is such a retrograde step, back to the good old days of 19th century when my great great grandfather was still working as a farm labourer at age 87. Is this what we want?
2013-12-05 10:01

2013-12-05 10:12

A sign, if any were needed, of what will happen to Holyrood post a NO referendum win. Power devolved is power retained. Westminster is about to rein in Scotland’s leash. We must break that chain.

YES Scotland
John MacIntyre OBE
2013-12-05 10:38

The following statement by the Minister of State for Energy on amendment 54 is recorded in Hansard – and ought to be recorded here in the interests of balanced and objective reporting:-

“Given that the hon. Gentleman has raised that point, I confirm that over a long period — many months — we have given the Scottish Government full notice that we want the renewables obligation closed by March 2017. They have had every notice in correspondence at ministerial and official level and have been in no doubt of our intention for a long time.”
Leader of the Pack
2013-12-05 12:48

Don’t see how that helps justify an unelected house having the power and authority to remove powers from a Parliament that where put there democratically with a peoples mandate.
Perhaps you can explain it in a way that shows it as a union benefit?
Or how about as a devolution benefit?
2013-12-05 16:53

An interesting quote JM – but it says the SG were given notice not that they were consulted. Maybe you can dig up some more for us along consulting lines.

But even if the SG was consulted it makes no difference to the fact that it can simply be overruled by the UKG.

Have a look at the article below for an honest opinion on where the four countries of the UK and NI stand in relation to each other.…/

2013-12-05 10:46

What Westminster wants is the SNP out of holyrood so they can have half a dozen nuclear power plants, built by the Chinese and all based in Scotland, along with 200 nuclear warheadss in the central belt, it will make Scotland a fairly dangerous place to live in.
2013-12-05 10:48

Pensions? No chance.
Workhouses? Now yer talking.
Dundonian West
2013-12-05 11:19

This is merely a taste of things to come if we decide to remain within this dysfunctional,u  ndemocratic Westminstercent  ric lopsided union.
Yes next year to stop this Bettertogether farce.
2013-12-05 11:34

No matter how OBE tries to justify this latest evidence of Westminster’s lack of care about or genuine interest in Scotland, this is still about unelected peers sneaking in an amendment which takes back a power from our parliament.

It will be interesting to find out how many of the Labour and LibDem MPs elected from Scottish constituencies voted against this naked power grab!
call me dave
2013-12-05 11:38

If all else fails the Lords will teak things to retain the status quo and their privileges

Came across this, do you trust Darling and the banks.…/
2013-12-05 12:17

Electoral trust is earned and Westminster has shown how far it can be trusted. What now for empty promises of mutual respect? What now for those who held out hopes for devo max?

This is the naked truth of devolution, all powers are in the gift of Westminster. What they give with one hand they can take away with the other. QED the above example. There will be no further powers, no devolution journey as Labour has it. There will only be more examples of the above disregard for the Scottish electorate and their wishes. This is what awaits a no vote next year. Do you still feel undecided?
2013-12-05 14:48

Another parcel of rogues.
2013-12-05 15:08

just a footnote to all the above comments, did you know that if Scotland voted no next year, Westminster can at stroke abolish the the Scottish parliament
2013-12-05 15:52

This shameful and despicable act, is merely the beginning of a stealth approach to stripping Holyrood of its powers if a no vote is returned in 2014, surely Scots aren’t foolish enough to sleepwalk into terrible austerity and impotence disguised under the banner of proud to be british, or are they?.
2013-12-05 17:50

Confirmation,as if we didn’t know,that Westminster will act against Scotland’s interest when it suits policy in England.
This is what happens when you allow a “foreign” government to make decisions on your behalf without any democratic accountability.
call me dave
2013-12-05 19:31

More tampering from the Lords.

FORMER Scottish Secretary Lord Forsyth has launched a stinging attack on the SNP’s independence white paper, and called for a senior judge to lead a committee to examine the document.
2013-12-05 19:47

Quoting call me dave:

More tampering from the Lords.

FORMER Scottish Secretary Lord Forsyth has launched a stinging attack on the SNP’s independence white paper, and called for a senior judge to lead a committee to examine the document.

Surely Forsyth can just enlist Davidson’s Separashun Committee to do this, without going to the expense of hiring a “senior (i.e. Unionist) judge to lead a Unionist-stacked committee?

After all, Davidson is already being paid £16,000 plus expenses to head his anti-Scottish Affairs Cabal, which money is deducted from Scotland’s block grant!


2013-12-05 20:01

I wonder if it’s in relation to this?

From the Telegraph, 23/10/13.

“One “major component” that the SNP’s plan ignores is the Renewables Obligation, he said, the main subsidy for wind and wave power needed to make it economically viable”

“The document raised the prospect of sharp increases if UK taxpayers refused to continue funding the Renewables Obligation subsidy for Scottish wind farms.”…/…
2013-12-05 20:53

What happened here?

Quote: is no longer available.
The authors have deleted this site.

call me dave
2013-12-05 21:03

Don’t worry he’s still here.
Try this new link.
. . . . , .
New topic.

First you can’t join the EU then suddenly ‘open sesame’ who do you trust the SG or that set of lying #@#@@*#@@ in ‘better together’.

2013-12-05 21:05


No panic. He’s just renamed (as in url) the blog:
2013-12-05 21:15

Cool ^^ Two for the price of one 😉

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