Budget is a great green cop out - Lib Dems

March 13, 2008 2:14 PM
Mark and Nick

Mark and Nick Clegg Leader of the Liberal Democrats commenting on the budget

Today's budget is a green cop out - which has been criticised by the Liberal Democrats as one which kicks the difficult decisions on environmental taxes into the long grass and offers no help to the millions of hard pressed families struggling to make ends meet.

None of its green tax proposals, Aviation tax, VED (Vehicle Excise Duty) tax changes or plastic bag taxes will be implemented before 2009 at the earliest, and unlike Liberal Democrat proposals for a Green Tax Switch, the money raised from environmental taxes will not be given back to families in the form of other tax cuts, but instead be taken by the Government to fill its black hole.

Mark Hunter, Liberal Democrat MP for the Cheadle constituency, commenting on the budget said, "This is not a budget that really helps the people - it gives only limited help to the millions of British families whose household bills just keep rising.

"A one year increase in the Winter Fuel Payment is just another attempt by this Government to grab headlines, it won't help the 4.5 million people still living in fuel poverty. The Chancellor should have announced that he was going to claw back the huge profits made by energy companies to help those freezing in their own homes.

"It's not a budget that will help the environment either - it's just designed to fill a black hole in the Government's coffers. Green taxes should encourage green behaviour, but in return need to reduce the tax burden of those that really need it. They should be revenue-neutral, and shouldn't just try to take even more money from hardworking British families."

Leader of the Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg said: "This budget gives no real help to families struggling with higher food bills, higher energy bills and higher debt repayments. What is this budget doing to help junior nurses, teaching assistants and soldiers serving in Afghanistan? The answer is nothing.

"After 11 years in Government, Labour has completed its fiscal fusion with the Tory Party."

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