29 Jan 2009

SNP arrogance over Scottish Budget?

patrickthinking.jpgSo the Budget was defeated in Scotland - the press are crediting Greens for that but it is not quite as simple - See what Green Member of Scottish Parliament Mr Harvie (pictured) has to say here.

The Scotsman newspaper writes (and I am not sure they have the whole picture): "Right at the end of the debate, Mr Swinney said £33 million would be provided for the scheme, insulating 100,000 houses, as Mr Harvie wanted. Although Mr Swinney guaranteed that this money would be spent, he could not give an assurance that all of it would come from the Scottish Government. Mr Harvie was worried that some of the money might come out of budgets already earmarked for fuel poverty when he wanted it all to be new money. And it was at that point that he decided the Greens should oppose the SNP's Budget."

Here is what SW Green MEP candidate Dr Richard Lawson notes: "My impression is that the SNP treated the Greens with political disdain, failing to negotiate clearly and communicate their views in good time. In the end, any money spent on saving energy has to be a good investment, and the SNP has paid the price for their political arrogance and economic ignorance."

Let us not forget the original scheme proposed by Greens would cost just £100m a year and would have made a massive contribution to cutting fuel poverty and climate change emissions, to reducing household bills and to boosting employment. It is a relative drop in the overall budgetary ocean - a third of one percent of the coming year's spending. Indeed it makes sense any way you look at it.

4 comments:

Janet said...

Look at what's happening in Oz :
http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,24999876-662,00.html

Anonymous said...

I saw this:

Patrick Harvie MSP said:

"There have been plenty of jokes since Wednesday about insulation, implying it's trivial to be "haggling about lagging". More than one in four Scots live in fuel poverty, and that number will rise as the recession deepens. John Swinney called this a "scandalous waste of resources" in last week's debate, and Greens agree.

"Universal insulation is the best way ever devised to tackle fuel poverty and climate change, and we cannot and will not compromise on the principle of this project. It's unfortunate that this issue has become about party politics - who's in, who's out, who's up, who's down - but I hope Ministers are able to rise above that and put the needs of the country first."

Anonymous said...

Are they listening at last?? Not sure they are - where is the dosh for this?

More than one in four homes in the UK will be offered a complete eco-makeover under ambitious plans expected to be announced this week to slash fuel bills and cut global warming pollution. The campaign is thought to involve giving 7m houses and flats a complete refit to improve insulation, and will be compared to the 10-year programme that converted British homes to gas central heating in the 1960s and 1970s. Householders could also be encouraged to install small-scale renewable and low-carbon heating systems such as solar panels and wood-burning boilers.

Guardian 9th Feb 2009

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/feb/09/eco-homes-refit-emissions

Philip Booth said...

A very nice piece on the free insulation scheme in Kirklees making the link with their joint working with Scottish Greens. I was pleasantly surprised to see the Labour Leader Cllr Khan picked up on not actually voting for the scheme when it was first put before the Council. A nice change to see us getting the credit for the scheme:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00hlh6j/The_Politics_Show_Yorkshire_and_Lincolnshire_15_02_2009/

Another scheme I saw recently:

Many industry figures are impressed with a recent social
experiment by British Gas, which encouraged eight typical British streets to
compete with each other to cut energy bills. Advisors helped householders to
save 30% on energy bills and 20% on greenhouse emissions, and it was
estimated that rolling the programme out nationwide would create 10,000
advisor jobs at an outlay of half a billion pounds. The outlay from these
green jobs - part of a British 'carbon army' - would save around £4.6
billion in the first year.

Good stuff.