When George Osborne stands up to deliver the 2014 budget on Wednesday afternoon, it will be the fourth time Blue & Green Tomorrow has been on the scene to hear the chancellor’s proposals.
Reading back our post-budget analysis after each of the last three statements, there is a common theme running through: a general feeling of disappointment over the missed opportunities when it comes to sustainability.
The chancellor is expected to deliver a budget for a “resilient” economy this year. We can only assume he is therefore set to boost sustainable enterprises; ramp up investment in clean, renewable energy; ensure Britain is properly protected from future flooding; and invest in resilient transport infrastructure such as rail.
These measures would form part of the 2014 budget speech that we’d like to hear. It remains to be seen whether our wishes will be granted.
Ahead of the statement, here are a few excerpts from our budget coverage in previous years.
2011 – A confident budget; a lost opportunity
This year’s budget is a lost opportunity to reshape our economy into a more sustainable model. It was always unlikely for a centre-right collation to propose a massive stimulus package; however, it would have been straightforward to give greater tax breaks for sustainable businesses and green start-ups, and more penalties for dirty ones to balance the books. At least Osborne increased the tax relief and limits on the Enterprise Investment Scheme.
But just imagine if a fraction of the billions we spent propping up banks that are still unwilling to lend had actually been spent on supporting clean technology and sustainable industries… We could have created a green economy that would lead the world, created high-skilled jobs and exports and rebalanced our economy into a 21st century model. Innovation equals economic growth and green innovation equals a positive futures. Must try harder, George, if this is going to be the greenest government ever. Read the full article.
2012 – What about the environment?
In his budget speech, George Osborne announced that the Government will be fiscally neutral, called personal tax avoidance “morally repugnant”, and highlighted the “crucial” role to be played by renewable energy. But it took the chancellor 21 minutes to mention anything even remotely environmental or green. And, after the wait, his much-anticipated statement ultimately disappointed us here at B>. Read the full article.
2012 – An unsustainable budget
Yesterday, Osborne said, “Environmentally sustainable must always be fiscally sustainable“, but, in reality, quite the opposite is true; fiscal sustainability must always be environmentally sustainable. This budget falls far short of creating a sustainable economy. It has compromised the needs of the environment and society for a short-term economic boost. Read the full article.
2013 – Green measures neglected as Osborne favours fracking
George Osborne offered tax breaks for shale gas developments, scrapped a rise in fuel duty and gave backing to more new roads, in a budget statement this afternoon that sent out little support to the sustainability sector. The statement, Osborne’s fourth as chancellor of the exchequer, included only a handful of positives for the green economy and seemingly no backing at all for renewable energy. Read the full article.
2013 – Myopic budget threatens UK’s long-term prosperity
An aspiration nation would consider the aspirations of our children, tomorrow’s citizens. We imagine they aspire to live in a clean, ethical, prosperous and stable nation, at ease with itself. The hopeless budget today has done nothing to secure that future. This was not the budget we wanted to see, but it is what we have come to expect from this unsustainable and timid chancellor. Must try harder, Mr Osborne. Read the full article.
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