21 Mar 2012

Caroline Lucas on the Budget

Caroline's comments below but see also New Economics Foundation here. As their chart shows left Osborne’s focus on public sector debt (the yellow area) is wholly misplaced. The debt held by the private financial sector dwarfs all other kinds, and is perhaps the biggest single threat to the UK’s continuing economic stability.

There is an alternative. An economic approach that focuses on sustainable job creation rather than lining the pockets of the super-rich, that rebalances our economy to break our dependence on carbon and debt and reduces the destabilising influence of financial services.


- 'Environment versus economy' rhetoric and tax breaks for oil and gas show Osborne still doesn't get it
- Coalition to bulldoze ahead with 'growth at any cost' planning reforms
- Toxic 50p tax cut for the rich exposes Lib Dem failure to dilute Tory dogma
- Budget offers little for part time workers and people on lowest incomes

The 2012 Budget will do nothing to deliver a greener or more prosperous economy - and shows the Coalition completely failing the fairness test, said the UK's Green MP today.

Caroline Lucas, leader of the Green Party and MP for Brighton Pavilion, said: "This true blue Budget is the nail in the coffin for this Government's 'greenest ever' pledge. The determination to plough ahead with growth-at-any-cost planning reforms and aviation expansion, throw money at North Sea oil and gas, and ignore the potential of green energy shows that this administration's environmental policy is blue, not green. The Chancellor's stubborn refusal to accept that investment in clean renewable energy and energy efficiency can simultaneously tackle the environmental crisis, stabilise the UK economy and create jobs is depriving this country of a more prosperous future."

Lucas continued: "Meanwhile, Osborne's toxic tax cut for the richest is a slap in the face for the millions of working people across the country fighting a losing battle against falling wages, job insecurity, rising living costs and severe public spending cuts. Having failed to secure either a genuine mansion tax or a tycoon tax to compensate for the Tories' unfair 50p rate cut, disillusioned Liberal Democrat MPs must once again be asking themselves what purpose they are serving in this Coalition. The fact that public sector net borrowing hit £15.2bn in February is clear proof that Osborne's destructive austerity drive is failing even on its own terms. And given the increasing levels of joblessness, the Government's blind belief in the private sector to compensate for huge public sector job losses - 270,000 last year - looks increasingly delusional.

"We have a youth unemployment crisis of staggering proportions and a whole section of society trapped in low paid work. While there were some positive measures to tackle this in today's Budget, it's clear that the Government needs to do far more."

The Green MP concluded: "This Budget is a regressive document from a regressive Government. It will do nothing to deliver a fairer or more prosperous UK economy - and it certainly won't deliver a greener one."

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