5 March 2021
Green Party Councillor for Mancroft Ward in Norwich, Martin Schmierer, responded to the measures outlined by the Chancellor in the budget today, calling them “disappointing and vapid”.
“While several measures, such as the continuation of furlough and the £20 extra per week for universal credit are to be welcomed, the proposals in the whole are disappointing and vapid. Given the eye-watering sums that this government is spending, I suspect future generations will question what we got for our money, especially as they are the ones who will have to deal with the brunt of the environmental crisis.”
“Following the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, this was always set to be a high spending budget and it was – to the order of over £400billion. However, there is no mention of schemes like ‘universal basic income’ to end poverty and the money the Chancellor has set aside to deal with arguably the biggest crisis facing humanity – the climate crisis – ispaltry.
“In the year that Britain is hosting the UN’s Climate Change Conference (COP26), this budget goes nowhere near far enough to transform our economy into a green and sustainable one that will enable us to tackle the climate crisis. Yes, there is mention of a new green retail National Savings and Investment (NS&I) product as well as a new green gilt scheme. But these are only set to be introduced later in the year and as with everything the devil will be in the detail.
“This budget also fails to introduce crucial measures such as a carbon tax or the necessary increase in funding for retrofitting and public transport.Instead,the government’s continued freezing of fuel duty and support for aviation shows how incoherent the Chancellor’s promises to tackle the environmental problems facing the planet are.
“This is demonstrated by the fact that the only direct mention Norwich gets in the budget is the announcement that the airport will benefit from support with their fixed costs such as business rates. Britons today and future generations tomorrow deserve better!”