Yesterday’s budget was a chance for the government to put its words into action – on the Green Economy
We’ve heard the talk; Boris with his ‘ten point plan’ and Rishi with his ‘commitment to green growth’ even David Cameron who piped up this week advising them to be ‘muscular’ on green issues – I don’t think we need to be macho about this boys. Just logical and bold.
Was it, logical or bold on green issues, this final budget before COP26 when the world gathers in Glasgow to to renew it’s efforts to prevent climate catastrophe? Nah. It was a business as usual budget – with some green window dressing and some very un green decisions.
The window dressing was a promise to launch a green savings bond, to raise cash to invest in green projects. Ecotricity did that 10 years ago, it’s not a new idea and it’s not actually where the problem is – there’s no lack of funding available for green projects that make money. What we need are policies that help more green projects make money, that help green businesses compete.
My Zero4Zero campaign with the Express tackled this. Calling for the removal of VAT on things like solar panels – that will make them more economic to buy and install, increasing their uptake, creating jobs – and reducing our carbon emissions. That’s this kind of thing we need to stimulate the green economy. It’s simple logical stuff which will pay for itself.
The big un green decision was freezing Fuel duty again – that will result in 5% higher carbon emissions and £11 billion a year in lost tax revenue…..a perfectly bad combination. Bad for the economy and bad for the climate.
There is a new tax on gas which will increase energy bills, 30% of our energy bills are from stealth taxes like this. But the bigger issue is will it apply to green gas – you’d think not, it’s carbon neutral.
The Chancellor was silent on the issue, so it seems likely that this carbon tax will be imposed on green gas. There’s no logic in that. But it already happens for green electricity….
This budget focusses on grants and giveaways to help struggling sectors of the economy, necessary as that is – it was also an opportunity to stimulate the new economy, the green one that we need to build – and that has been so badly missed.
This is a budget with nothing for the green economy. But if we could talk our way to solving the Climate Crisis – Britain is already a world leader.