Press release
Budget 2014: It's dirty business as usual

George Osborne - what a blockhead! #Budget2014 pic.twitter.com/ypmMtpXv7t

— Friends of the Earth (@wwwfoecouk) March 19, 2014

 

Commenting on the Chancellor’s annual Budget today [Wednesday 19 March 2014], Friends of the Earth Economics Campaigner, David Powell said:
 
“Despite George Osborne’s pledge last month to tackle climate change, it’s dirty business as usual in this year’s Budget.
 
“Merely weeks after promising action on flooding and global warming, the best the Chancellor can manage is a U-turn on his own reckless flood defence cuts, and caving in to big business lobbying on pollution tax.

“Mr Osborne says he wants to make our economy ‘resilient’, but Britons face paying a hefty price for his failure to confront the reality of climate change.”
 
Carbon Price Floor
 
“Freezing the carbon price floor is simply code for letting polluters pollute, while clean industries suffer ever more stifling restrictions.

“The money raised by this tax should be used to help homes and businesses become much more energy efficient - and bring down bills for good.”

Gas and oil extraction

“The Chancellor’s dangerous fossil fuel fixation is storing up huge problems for the future.

“George Osborne’s pledge to extract every drop of oil and gas we can from the North Sea will completely undermine efforts to decarbonise the economy.”

 Flood spending
 
“George Osborne’s self-congratulation on flood spending is ill-founded.

“The ‘extra’ £140m only cancels out previous cuts, while households in storm-battered Britain are picking up the bill for the Government’s negligence.

“And if we want to keep pace with the impacts of climate change, far more must be spent on flood defences.”

ENDS
 
Notes to editors:
 
1. Friends of the Earth briefing ahead of today’s Budget is available at: https://www.foe.co.uk/sites/default/files/downloads/budget-2014-friends-earth-advance-briefing-45687.pdf
 
2. “I'm someone who believes climate change is happening, that it's caused by human beings. We should do what we can to prevent it and if we can't prevent then mitigate against it for example by building flood defences... [but] let's try and do this in as cheap a possible way as we can.” – George Osborne, February 2014: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/feb/20/george-osborne-climate-change-cheaply
 
3. The Coal industry say the carbon price floor would “drive early closure of existing coal plant”: http://www.coalpro.co.uk/documents/CoalPro%20Budget%20Representation
%2013%202%2014.pdf#page=3

 
4. Former World Bank Chief Economist Lord Stern yesterday [18 March 2014] said that the Budget should be used to stimulate investment in green technology and energy efficiency – and a carbon price floor freeze would be “damage[ing]”: http://blueandgreentomorrow.com/2014/03/18/budget-2014-osborne-must-lay-out-vision-for-greener-uk-says-lord-stern/
 
5. For more than 40 years we’ve seen that the wellbeing of people and planet go hand in hand – and it’s been the inspiration for our campaigns. Together with thousands of people like you we’ve secured safer food and water, defended wildlife and natural habitats, championed the move to clean energy and acted to keep our climate stable. Be a Friend of the Earth – see things differently. For further information visit www.foe.co.uk
 

If you're a journalist looking for press information please contact the Friends of the Earth media team on 020 7566 1649.

 

Published by Friends of the Earth Trust