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From the archives: Blue & Green Tomorrow’s budget coverage since 2011



As chancellor George Osborne prepares to deliver the 2015 Budget today it will be the fifth time Blue & Green Tomorrow has reported on his proposals.

The chancellor has pledged no “gimmicks” but will the tax and spending plans prioritise sustainability? We look back over our previous post-budget analysis after each of the last four statements and find the environment and sustainability have generally been neglected.


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&GT. 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.


2014 – Osborne is fiddling while the Earth burns: ‘extracting every drop of oil we can’

The chancellor George Osborne is a dangerous man. A disciple of financial service deregulating and climate change denying ex-chancellor Lord Lawson, he delivered a budget statement on Wednesday as depressing as the Conservative Environment Network’s recent Responsibility & Resilience pamphlet was encouraging.

As we repeatedly explain, we hold no torch for a particular party, despite what our magazine’s name suggests. No, we are not the green wing of the blue Conservative party. The preservation of our precious blue and green planet is simply more important that the colours domestic parties wrap themselves in. There is no plan(et) B.

Our fundamental concern is whether a government’s programme of policies and budget decisions is sustainable or whether it is not. This budget was not. Read the full article.

Photo: altogetherfool via Flickr

Further reading:

George Osborne urged to deliver a green Budget

UK carbon budget ‘feasible and economically sensible’

Budget 2013: green measures neglected as Osborne favours fracking

Budget 2014: Osborne freezes carbon price floor and boosts North Sea oil

Budget 2014: the reaction


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