The Chancellor said he would “put the next generation first” in Budget 2016, yet failed to mention climate change or the Paris Agreement to tackle global warming. In effect it was a Climate-wrecking’ Budget after £1bn tax breaks for oil and gas industry.
Osborne promised yet more support for fossil fuels:
- A further tax cut for the oil and gas industry.
- Extending the fuel duty freeze even as fuel prices have fallen further.
- Promising a £1 billion “Shale Wealth Fund” to be “deployed in local communities and the North as a whole.”
- Yet more investment in road-building as rural bus services face Beeching-style funding cuts.
According to the Guardian: “Energy efficiency programmes, which should always be the first choice in tackling energy and climate problems, are being cut 80% by Osborne.” and There was nothing to reboot investment in community-based renewable energy projects, badly hit by his own Treasury-led cuts to feed-in tariffs.
Caroline Lucas MP commented: “This Budget locks us into fossil fuel dependency and completely contradicts the Prime Minister’s call to action at the Paris climate talks. His plans to cut tax for North Sea oil and gas – rather than investing in a just transition away from fossil fuels – are myopic and dangerous.”