National Audit Office slams Hinkley Point

New investigation launched

The National Audit Office has delivered a damning verdict of Tory incompetence over public finances, with a report criticising plans for a new nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point as a “risky and expensive project” that is “not value for money”.

The proposals, which will cost in excess of £18bn, include investment from the French and Chinese governments. But the NAO has said that the UK government failed to consider the costs and risks for consumers, with the SNP set to table an urgent question to parliament on the debacle.

The news is the latest example of Tory incompetence over energy policy, having previously scrapped subsidies for renewables, failed to adequately support the oil and gas sector, and gone back on their pledge to invest £1bn in a new Carbon Capture and Storage scheme which Peterhead was likely to benefit from. They recently appointed the 19th energy minister in as many years.

SNP MP and energy spokesperson at Westminster, Drew Hendry, said: “This report from the National Audit Office is utterly damning for the Tories – the Secretary of State must come to the House to explain this mess as a matter of urgency.

“Their total incompetence when it comes to managing our public finances and developing an energy strategy that promotes jobs, the economy and the environment is clear for all to see.

“Hinkley Point is simply the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Tory mismanagement – having already scrapped subsidies for renewable energy, failed to support the North Sea oil and gas sector, been unable to prevent blacklisting of oil workers trying to find new work, reneged on their pledge for a £1bn Carbon Capture and Storage scheme at Peterhead, and failed to provide any continuity in the Energy Department having recently appointed the 19th energy minister in the last 19 years.

“The National Audit Office report could not be clearer – Hinkley Point is a white elephant project, and the Tories have failed to consider the possible costs and risks for consumers and is not value for money. Their whole approach to energy policy is utterly confused – but it is clear that the Hinkley decision is an unforgivable blunder.

“Theresa May must now seriously consider the future of this flagship project – and instead invest in the renewables sector, which is undoubtedly the future of our energy industry.”

 

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