8 March 2017
* No mention of climate change in Chancellor's speech
* 'Woefully inadequate' resources for health and social care
* 'Utter failure' to address the air pollution emergency
Caroline Lucas, the co-leader of the Green Party, has given a damning verdict on today's Budget. With the Chancellor refusing to give the NHS and social care the funding that experts say is needed, and with Phillip Hammond's speech failing to mention climate change, Lucas said that the Budget 'utterly fails to address the challenges of our time'.
Caroline Lucas MP said:
"This budget should have been an emergency intervention to end the chaos in health and social care and address the air pollution emergency, but instead it’s another resounding failure from a Government that’s got no ideas beyond an obsession with scaling back the state.
"With our NHS in peril and social care in the midst of a crisis this Budget was a chance for the Government to take a stand for the public services upon which we all rely. Instead they continue to push ahead with planned Corporation tax cuts, and their handout to high earners, while unveiling woefully inadequate funding changes for the NHS and social care. . The Government’s obsessions with slimming down the state is causing misery – and their refusal to think again on this issue is inexcusable."
Lucas also slammed the Government for a 'climate failure' Budget and for refusing to act on air pollution:
"The Chancellor has utterly failed to get a grip on the air pollution emergency in Britain, and this budget simply won’t go anywhere near far enough in cleaning up the filthy air which leads to 40,000 early deaths per year. With the cost of motoring dropping in recent years – and public transport costs skyrocketing – we should have seen the fuel duty escalator unfrozen and the money ploughed into public transport. Instead we’ve seen further handouts to the motor lobby and persistent neglect for cleaner, healthier forms of transport."
"This budget is another climate failure - with Chancellor failing to mention climate change even once in his speech.. Rather than reversing the solar tax hike or ploughing money into renewables the Chancellor seems hell bent on drilling for more gas and oil in the North Sea, and handing further cash to the motor lobby with the fuel duty freeze. Britain should be leading the world in climate change technology and green jobs but instead we’re lagging behind and laying the foundations for another dash for gas."