A wait and see’ Budget, when we need an economic reboot

NEF response to today’s Budget

In response to today’s Budget, Andrew Pendleton, Director of Policy and Advocacy, said:

Today’s Budget serves as nothing more than a sticking plaster on a broken economy at a time when it needs a reboot. This should have been a reforming Budget — not a wait and see’ Budget. For our Chancellor to be sitting on wealth like a fat cat, is as fiscally irresponsible as governmental overspending.

We need to rip up the rulebook that puts arbitrary targets ahead of real lives and considers the environment an afterthought. It’s our economy, and we can change the rules in favour of people and the planet.

While Theresa May has called time on austerity and finally acknowledged the pain it has caused for so many people, it’s easy to say that austerity is ending when services and benefits have already been decimated. Ending austerity will require a far more radical plan for public spending, especially as the twin armies of climate and technological change march rapidly on our economy — and this budget wasn’t it.”

David Powell, Head of Environment and Green Transition said:

Today’s Budget should have put the environment at its heart — the IPCC report this month said we have 12 years left to tackle climate change. But instead of taking action the Chancellor sat on his hands and didn’t even mention the climate once.

Instead of meaningful action on plastic, air pollution or climate change what we’ve seen today is a government in denial of the scale of the challenge we face, with its head in the sand. There was a real opportunity to champion action being taken on clean technology and green transition — but the lack of a mention today suggest this isn’t a priority for the Chancellor.

The money announced for support for UK fishing will simply replace a current EU funding stream; the plastic tax consultation is a literal drop in the ocean when you set it against the flow of plastic coming out of the huge conglomerates; and the ninth year of a fuel duty freeze comes at the same time as an air pollution epidemic. At a time for action this was a Budget of inaction.”

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