Wednesday, 12 March 2008

The budget -- very Brown, not very Green...

NEWS
from Eastern Region Green Party and Norfolk Green Party
Wednesday 12th March 2008
The Budget: Very Brown, not very Green...
Whilst being trailed as a Green Budget, Alistair Darling's speech revealed it to be predictably a very Brown one with the barest tinges of Green around the edges.
Before the Budget, the Green Party called for a genuinely Green approach as the urgency of tackling dangerous climate change becomes ever more acute. According to the recommendations of the Stern report - an economic assessment on climate change produced for the Treasury - Gordon Brown should be ensuring that the UK invests at an absolute bare minimum at least 1% of GDP per annum on reducing carbon emissions - but that's not happening and the Labour Government shows no sign of grasping this issue. A truly Green Budget would have delivered a major investment programme for renewable energy, reductions in energy demand through efficiency and the scrapping of airport and motorway expansion plans.
In his speech, Alistair Darling claimed yet again that the UK is a world leader in tackling climate change yet failed to reveal that under Labour, carbon dioxide emissions have not fallen since they came to power in 1997.
 
Cllr. Dr Rupert Read, Green Party Lead candidate for the 2009 European Elections said
"Gordon Brown's first budget as Prime Minister was an historic opportunity for Labour to have actually put its green rhetoric into action. But predictably, apart from a few Green tinges around the edges, Brown and Darling have not taken the opportunity. This was clearly still a very Brown Budget, not a Green one.
 
Whilst rightly saying how important it is to tackle manmade climate change, Labour remain utterly contradictory. They want an 80% target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and plan to have a future Carbon Budget - which are steps in the right direction and are long standing Green Party measures. But targets and budgets are not worth the paper they are written on unless they result in real action. In the same speech today the Chancellor openly backed more roads, airports and urbanisation and ministers have this week backed more coal-fired power stations. This is hardly 'joined-up government'...
 
The Chancellor cannot seriously claim to be acting on dangerous climate change when he boasts today of "increasing capacity on the roads ... delivering a fifth terminal at Heathrow ... and more runways at Heathrow and Stansted."
 
The Chancellor said he wanted to see "substantial reductions in emissions from transport". We welcome the changes to vehicle duty to reward owners of the most efficient cars and tax much more heavily the gas guzzlers. This will raise crucial funds that can be invested in the railways. But true to form, the Chancellor has also announced a postponement of the rise in fuel duty. The government's timidity in not increasing fuel duty is a disgrace. ...Although actually, there is much better policy instrument that they coulduse. If the Green Party were in power, we would_reduce_ fuel duty --
because we would introduce carbon rationing, instead. The great thing about carbon rationing is that it is actually fair. Everyone has their
own ration, for free -- by contrast, fuel tax and other carbon taxes are regressive.
We also welcome the rise in aviation tax; let us remember that it is mostly the rich and business travellers who benefit from 'cheap' flights, and it is they who will mostly pay this tax.
But: any reductions in emissions from these measures will be blown away by the huge expansion of motorways, airports and urban sprawl being so aggressively backed by Labour.
 
Finally, we heard about postponed measures on carrier bags and energy efficiency in buildings. These proposals are totally inadequate. Urgent action is needed to tackle the problem of manufacturers and retailers churning out vast quantities of non-recyclable plastic bags and packaging that end up either in landfill or being incinerated. And on building efficiency, its more of Labour's favourite trick of jam tomorrow. Their zero carbon proposals on housing and non-domestic buildings are all postponed well into the next decade. Local planning authorities need the powers now to require low and zero carbon developments, but the Government has consistently refused to do this."
 
ENDS
Eastern Region Green Party Press Office 01376 584576 mobile 07951 923073
Euro 2009 Lead Candidate Cllr. Dr. Rupert Read 01603 219294 mobile 07946 459066
For more Green News please visit
www.eastern.greenparty.org.uk
--    Rupert Read Green Party Councillor, Norwich, and Lead Candidate for Eastern Region for the Greens in the 2009 Euro-elections. Why not try my new BLOG, 'Rupert's Read': http://rupertsread.blogspot.com  See also www.oneworldcolumn.org [for my regular op-ed journalism] I TWITTER. DO YOU? Check out my new frequently-updated, mobile-phone-based MICRO-BLOG, at http://twitter.com/RupertRead 

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25. 26. The budget -- very Brown, not very Green... 27. 28.

29.
NEWS
from Eastern Region Green Party and Norfolk Green Party
Wednesday 12th March 2008
The Budget: Very Brown, not very Green...
Whilst being trailed as a Green Budget, Alistair Darling's speech revealed it to be predictably a very Brown one with the barest tinges of Green around the edges.
Before the Budget, the Green Party called for a genuinely Green approach as the urgency of tackling dangerous climate change becomes ever more acute. According to the recommendations of the Stern report - an economic assessment on climate change produced for the Treasury - Gordon Brown should be ensuring that the UK invests at an absolute bare minimum at least 1% of GDP per annum on reducing carbon emissions - but that's not happening and the Labour Government shows no sign of grasping this issue. A truly Green Budget would have delivered a major investment programme for renewable energy, reductions in energy demand through efficiency and the scrapping of airport and motorway expansion plans.
In his speech, Alistair Darling claimed yet again that the UK is a world leader in tackling climate change yet failed to reveal that under Labour, carbon dioxide emissions have not fallen since they came to power in 1997.
 
Cllr. Dr Rupert Read, Green Party Lead candidate for the 2009 European Elections said
"Gordon Brown's first budget as Prime Minister was an historic opportunity for Labour to have actually put its green rhetoric into action. But predictably, apart from a few Green tinges around the edges, Brown and Darling have not taken the opportunity. This was clearly still a very Brown Budget, not a Green one.
 
Whilst rightly saying how important it is to tackle manmade climate change, Labour remain utterly contradictory. They want an 80% target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and plan to have a future Carbon Budget - which are steps in the right direction and are long standing Green Party measures. But targets and budgets are not worth the paper they are written on unless they result in real action. In the same speech today the Chancellor openly backed more roads, airports and urbanisation and ministers have this week backed more coal-fired power stations. This is hardly 'joined-up government'...
 
The Chancellor cannot seriously claim to be acting on dangerous climate change when he boasts today of "increasing capacity on the roads ... delivering a fifth terminal at Heathrow ... and more runways at Heathrow and Stansted."
 
The Chancellor said he wanted to see "substantial reductions in emissions from transport". We welcome the changes to vehicle duty to reward owners of the most efficient cars and tax much more heavily the gas guzzlers. This will raise crucial funds that can be invested in the railways. But true to form, the Chancellor has also announced a postponement of the rise in fuel duty. The government's timidity in not increasing fuel duty is a disgrace. ...Although actually, there is much better policy instrument that they coulduse. If the Green Party were in power, we would_reduce_ fuel duty --
because we would introduce carbon rationing, instead. The great thing about carbon rationing is that it is actually fair. Everyone has their
own ration, for free -- by contrast, fuel tax and other carbon taxes are regressive.
We also welcome the rise in aviation tax; let us remember that it is mostly the rich and business travellers who benefit from 'cheap' flights, and it is they who will mostly pay this tax.
But: any reductions in emissions from these measures will be blown away by the huge expansion of motorways, airports and urban sprawl being so aggressively backed by Labour.
 
Finally, we heard about postponed measures on carrier bags and energy efficiency in buildings. These proposals are totally inadequate. Urgent action is needed to tackle the problem of manufacturers and retailers churning out vast quantities of non-recyclable plastic bags and packaging that end up either in landfill or being incinerated. And on building efficiency, its more of Labour's favourite trick of jam tomorrow. Their zero carbon proposals on housing and non-domestic buildings are all postponed well into the next decade. Local planning authorities need the powers now to require low and zero carbon developments, but the Government has consistently refused to do this."
 
ENDS
Eastern Region Green Party Press Office 01376 584576 mobile 07951 923073
Euro 2009 Lead Candidate Cllr. Dr. Rupert Read 01603 219294 mobile 07946 459066
For more Green News please visit
www.greenparty.org.uk
www.eastern.greenparty.org.uk
--    Rupert Read Green Party Councillor, Norwich, and Lead Candidate for Eastern Region for the Greens in the 2009 Euro-elections. Why not try my new BLOG, 'Rupert's Read': http://rupertsread.blogspot.com  See also www.oneworldcolumn.org [for my regular op-ed journalism] I TWITTER. DO YOU? Check out my new frequently-updated, mobile-phone-based MICRO-BLOG, at http://twitter.com/RupertRead 
30. 31. 32.