THE SNP is to push the next UK government to cut VAT on energy improvements so more people can have warmer – and greener – homes.

Ahead of the party’s manifesto launch next week, the SNP has revealed that its MPs at Westminster will push for substantial reforms to the UK tax system to support greener choices – including a move to end the UK Treasury’s 20% tax on making people’s homes warmer.

Earlier this year, the Tories introduced legislation to increase the VAT on home solar panels from 5% to 20% a move that was slammed by the SNP.

“For too long now, successive Westminster governments have sat on their hands when it comes to the climate crisis – a vote for the SNP at this election is a vote to take serious action to make Scotland greener,” said SNP candidate for Dundee West, Chris Law.

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“There is no more time to waste – it’s time for Westminster to get its act together.

“Scotland is already a world-leader on tackling the climate crisis and delivering green energy. It’s time for the UK government to match the SNP’s ambition and cut VAT on energy improvements so more people across Scotland can make their homes greener and warmer.”

He added: “This is the most important election in living memory. A vote for the SNP on December 12 is a vote to escape Brexit, put Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands, and secure a better future for our environment.”

The Tory Government has faced widespread criticism from climate change activists and industry experts over last month’s increase of VAT on solar panels.

They say the rise of 5% to 20% risks making solar installation “entirely uneconomic” and flies in the face of the climate change emergency declared by Westminster earlier this year.

The Renewable Energy Association said the hike had come as a shock to the industry, adding that it “could mean the UK market is put at a strategic disadvantage for attracting investment and transitioning its energy system, adding 15 per cent to the cost of most new projects’ equipment and penalising consumers who wish to reduce their carbon footprint.”

The association’s head of policy, Frank Gordon, said the VAT rate hike would hit the small-scale renewable energy industry hard in “an already difficult landscape”.

“This change risks setting back the UK decarbonisation of homes and businesses in the UK by a number of years,” he said.

Dr Jonathan Marshall, an energy analyst at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, said the rise was the “latest in a lengthening list of government moves hurting solar”.

He said: “It’s not only increasing the VAT on solar, it’s also changing the whole framework of small-scale renewables, so that it’s almost entirely uneconomic now to put solar panels on your house.”