Transforming the Treasury
We think our economic and finance system should be run to put the wellbeing of people and the planet first. That makes the UK Treasury – which holds the purse strings and set economic policy for the Government – hugely important.
It’s a powerful institution with huge influence – in many ways the spider at the centre of the web of Government policy making.
We want to shed light on the decisions the Treasury makes, opening up their inner workings. More often than not, good environmental campaigns fall as a result of Treasury opposition – why is this?
Support our public statement on the need for a new priority for Treasury.
Read our blogs
Our Transforming the Treasury series of blogs, from a range of experts, will give you insight into how Treasury thinks:
- Why the Treasury makes it hard to invest sustainably – Anna Laycock
- How to influence the Treasury – Prashant Vaze
- HM Treasury has a growth problem, and it's contagious – Steven Devlin
- Inside the Treasury's climate economic model – David Powell
- Little wonder the Treasury's a block on green policies – David Powell
- The Treasury: no-one likes them, they don't care – David Powell
- The Treasury's flood defence plan leaves Britain dangerously exposed to climate change – Guy Shrubsole
- Why wellbeing isn't just for middle class hippies – Richard Dyer
When Treasury gets in the way
In recent years we know that the Treasury has, for example:
- Refused to support an invaluable cross review of the impact on the UK economy of resource shortages.
- Fought tooth and nail against the Green Investment Bank and, once it was set up, fought to restrict its powers.
- Enforced a tight budget over vital subsidies for renewable energy – in a way that other pioneering countries like Germany do not.
- Ramped up tax breaks for oil and gas, including for shale – and declaring it to be “irresponsible” not to do all it can to increase shale gas investment in the UK.
- Introduced a way of calculating the ‘costs and benefits’ of climate change that overwhelmingly focuses on the costs, not the benefits.
Often the person who heads the Treasury – the Chancellor – is the real problem. But not always. We think there’s a cultural and institutional problem with the Treasury itself: the models it uses, the assumptions it holds, and the value (or lack of it) it places on preserving a healthy environment.
We know that there are people inside Treasury who understand that building a long-term, green and efficient economy requires a new way of thinking. We think their voices need to be heard.
The Treasury isn’t all bad. When it backs the right policies – like supporting the 2008 Climate Change Act – it can be a very powerful force for good.
Get in touch
We’re keen to hear from you if you have examples of Treasury obstructionism, good stories to tell, or you know how Governments in other countries have put the environment at the heart of their financial decision making.
Please get in touch by emailing [email protected].