Responding to the 2018 budget, Bristol’s Green MEP and party finance spokesperson, Molly Scott Cato MEP, said:
“Greens said that this must be an emergency budget for the climate and that it would fail if a single pound was spent on climate wrecking projects .
“Well, we witnessed billions splashed on climate wreckage, yet not a single mention of the word climate. This despite the fact scientists warned just a few weeks ago that we have a 12-year window to transition our economy and society away from fossil fuels .
“Rather than action to avert climate breakdown we saw the chancellor accelerate faster towards it, throwing £30bn at road building and freezing fuel duty for the ninth year running. This now amounts to a £9bn tax give-away, enough to reverse all Conservative benefit cuts of the past 8 years. Compare these eye-watering sums to the pittance given towards the environment – just £60 million to plant a few trees.
“As well as an assault on our climate this budget was a huge missed economic opportunity. This could have been a budget to turbocharge the idea of the Western Powerhouse, offering support and incentives to exploit the huge potential for renewable energy resources across the South West region. Off-shore and on-shore wind, solar, tidal and thermal power could provide for all the region’s energy needs and create thousands of jobs in the process .”
Responding to the Budget, Green Party MP Caroline Lucas said:
“Did the Chancellor lose a section of his speech? This is the most nature-depleted Budget in decades. His biggest announcement on the environment was abandoning the latte levy, and with it the pretence of caring about our natural world.
“Two weeks ago, the world’s top scientists warned we have just 12 years to prevent climate catastrophe – so today we urgently needed an emergency budget with major investment in green energy and jobs to protect the planet. It’s unforgivable that Philip Hammond failed to even mention climate change.
“It’s not clear what planet Philip Hammond is living on – but it is his responsibility to do something to protect those of us living on this one. His deluded Budget was built on a fantasy future where the technical revolution will solve all of society’s problems.
“He spent more on fixing potholes than funding schools and lavished billions on locking us into our cars as public transport deteriorates. Our children will never forgive him.”