Appeal to get government timetable on solar subsidy cuts reinstated branded a ‘waste of taxpayers’ money’ by Friends of the Earth

The government is set to appeal a court judgement that ruled its plans for cutting the feed-in tariff for solar power in half were illegal.

In December, a High Court ruled that the government had not conducted its consultation into the changes in a lawful manner.

The government consultation on the changes closed on 23 December but it said installations completed after 12 December would still be subject to the revised tariff from April 2012, which a judge said was illegal.

Now the government has confirmed it will appeal and has until the end of tomorrow to lodge its case at the Court of Appeal.

Andrew Pendleton, head of campaigns at Friends of the Earth, which brought the legal challenge along with solar firms, said: “Ministers should accept the High Court’s decision and end business uncertainty and protect jobs with a clear plan to reduce payments from February, in line with falling installation costs.”

Mr Justice Mitting already refused the government permission to appeal immediately after he delivered his verdict on the case on 21 December. He said: “I doubt, to be blunt, that the prospects of success in an appeal against my decision are that good.”

Today, Pendleton added: “Trying to appeal the High Court’s ruling is an expensive waste of taxpayers’ money – the court says the government has no realistic chance of winning, and it will prolong uncertainty among solar companies just when they need reassurance.”