Osborne's Budget: full speed in the wrong direction

Henry Chown

08 July 2015

Today we got another dirty Budget from Chancellor Osborne. In the final months before global climate talks in Paris in December this year we needed a Budget that would pull a hand brake on the UK’s dependency on fossil fuels.

Instead we heard confirmation of huge tax breaks to North Sea gas and oil – delivering on his promise to “drill every last drop” despite the need to keep around 80% of known fossil fuels in the ground to avert runaway climate change.

The Chancellor confirmed bribes, in the form of a sovereign wealth fund, to local communities to accept fracking. This follows a resounding defeat last week of Cuadrilla’s applications to frack in Lancashire in a stunning win for the Lancashire community.

And incredibly, Osborne even decided to make renewable energy pay a carbon tax called the Climate Change Levy – a tax that was specifically designed to encourage green power in the first place. It's like making apple juice pay an alcohol tax.

He also promised to use reformed car tax for a new road fund. Money raised from taxing cars shouldn't be spent on boosting the Government’s super-sized road building scheme – it will simply encourage more traffic and cost more lives with already dangerous air pollution. Instead the Chancellor should invest in public transport and making our cities better for walking and cycling.

“Mr Osborne’s confirmation of huge tax breaks to North Sea gas and oil, and continuing support for deeply unpopular fracking, is particularly reckless as the world prepares for critical climate talks this December”

David Powell, Senior Campaigner, Friends of the Earth

Local people are standing up to Osborne’s attempts to frack their communities. They cannot be bullied or bought. Please sign our petition telling the Prime Minister to respect Lancashire Council's decision and keep Cuadrilla out.

Keep the frackers out

PS For more detailed analysis of the climate impacts of the Budget, see this excellent summary from Carbon Brief.