Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Lucas: 'Weak and discredited' Chancellor condemning UK to a bleak future

The UK is being condemned to a 'bleak future' of yet more austerity and deprived of the huge benefits of the jobs-rich green economy by a 'weak and discredited' Chancellor, said Green MP Caroline Lucas today.

In the Comprehensive Spending Review announcement to the House of Commons earlier today, Chancellor George Osborne set out plans for £11.5bn more cuts to government departments for 2015-16 - as well as committing to further investment in high carbon infrastructure such as roads and shale gas.


This government's broken austerity policies have fundamentally failed to get the UK's finances in order and improve people's lives, yet George Osborne has today chosen to condemn Britain to more of the same even beyond the next election.

With Ed Miliband now accepting the government's spending cuts for 2015-16 and supporting a cap on welfare spending too, any chance of the main parties challenging the austerity myth has been eradicated.

The failure of mainstream politicians to properly represent the British people and to hold to account the most incompetent Chancellor of modern times represents nothing short of a political crisis.

The way to address the deficit is not by further cuts to public services, including tightening the financial stranglehold on local authorities, or failing to get people into work and arbitrarily capping welfare spending regardless of need.

It is to invest in jobs - borrowing money based on record low interest rates - mount a serious crackdown on tax evasion and avoidance, and bring forward green quantitative easing to deliver investment directly into the infrastructure we urgently need for a more resilient, stable economy."

And yet again the Chancellor has rejected one of the best ways to create jobs in all areas of the UK - a programme to make all homes super energy efficient, funded by the recycling of carbon tax revenue received by the Treasury.

Research shows that such a programme would be far better for job creation than his alternatives and deliver urgently needed reductions in carbon pollution, help end fuel poverty and drive down household energy bills too.
Osborne claims that he is unwilling to 'make the children of the future pay for the mistakes of the past', yet by ignoring the warnings on climate change from the international scientific community, economists and environmentalists, he is doing exactly that.

Last night, President Obama outlined the urgent need to act on climate change and the benefits this would bring the American people in terms of manufacturing, jobs and protection from the impacts of climate change.

By committing the government to reckless spending on polluting high carbon infrastructure such as roads, airports and shale gas instead of investing in the jobs-rich green economy through, for example, renewable energy and energy efficiency, George Osborne is denying the British people those same huge benefits - and a more positive vision of the future.

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