Business rate changes are a big setback for solar projects in state schools, critics say [Image: Echo/Getty Images/Cultura RF].

What utter moronic small-minded money-grubbing meanness.

The whole point of putting solar panels on public buildings was to make it cheaper to run them – not to provide a new revenue stream for a greedy Tory government.

Clearly, schools and other buildings run to provide public services/public benefit should be exempt from this business rate rise.

If you have a Conservative MP and/or Tory councillors on your local school’s governing board, get in touch and demand to know why they are supporting this.

New research suggests schools in England and Wales which have solar panels installed will be landed with a £1.8m bill because of business rate changes that have been branded ludicrous and nonsensical.

More than 1,000 schools installed solar power in recent years to address climate change, educate pupils and provide a crucial new revenue stream to help squeezed budgets.

But figures from 74 education authorities that responded to freedom of information requests show 821 schools with solar will together have to pay an extra £800,000 a year in business rates from April because of taxation changes. Assuming similar installation rates across the 174 authorities in England and Wales, that climbs to a total of about £1.8m.

Source: Schools with solar panels face £1.8m bill due to business rates rise | Environment | The Guardian

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