Green Party Leader’s Comments on the Budget

Caroline Lucas, Britain’s first Green MP and leader of the Green Party, comments on today’s budget:

“In spite of the Chancellor’s protestations, this budget was neither unavoidable nor fair. Instead it was a massively failed opportunity to shift the economy onto a fairer, greener pathway.

“Devastating public spending cuts, of the sort announced today, are not ‘unavoidable.’  They are not an economic inevitability – they are an ideological choice.

“It’s been demonstrated that any efforts that are needed to address the deficit, once the economy is back to better health, can be paid for through progressive tax reform, so that the poorest are not forced to pay the highest price for the excesses of the bankers.

“Nor was this budget fair. A VAT rise, benefits cuts for all, a public sector freeze, and swingeing cuts in most government budgets of 25%, will all of them hit some of the poorest hardest.

“And any notion that by voting Blue you get Green was nailed today by the stark absence of any serious measures to promote urgently needed environmental measures.”

Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion and Green Party Leader

Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion and Green Party Leader

Our previous posts £100 Billion Lost to Tax ‘Flaws and Holes’, Unavoidable Cuts Which Will Affect “Our Whole Way of Life”, No Shock Doctrine for Britain – Stop the Cuts and Cuts “Destructive and Unnecessary” says Green Party Leader help explain why “this budget was neither unavoidable nor fair”.

David M. Davison

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One Comment to “Green Party Leader’s Comments on the Budget”

  1. Caroline Lucas’ letter in Tuesday’s Independent (http://bit.ly/cxk9Yl):
    “George Osborne’s claim that, as far as Budget cuts are concerned, “We are all in this together” is wearing thin. The obvious truth is that we are not. Some had more responsibility for this crisis than others, and some benefited more from the boom that preceded it. Those who enjoyed the largest benefits must pay the highest price.

    “In a new Green Party report published this week, tax expert Richard Murphy and I make the case that there is nothing “unavoidable” about the spending cuts. Any efforts that are needed to reduce the deficit, once the economy is back to better health, can be paid for by fairer taxes, rather than forcing those on low incomes to pay most for the excesses of the bankers.

    “Progressive tax reform, increasing the tax take from those most able to pay it, and helping lower earners by reintroducing the 10 per cent tax band, would be a good start, both in raising revenue, and addressing inequality.

    “Moreover, the extent of tax avoidance, tax evasion and unpaid tax in the UK economy is truly staggering. HM Revenue and Customs admit that tax evasion and avoidance together come to at least £40bn a year, and that £28bn of unpaid tax is also owing to them. Some experts have suggested that the total target for necessary action to collect tax due and owing could be more than £100bn a year.

    “Our report sets out options for changing the tax rules so that more than £40bn of additional taxes could be raised each year by the end of the life of this parliament. That, together with the tax collecting efficiency savings, would together deliver more than £60bn of tax revenues for the UK – so preventing the need for any cuts at all.

    “Caroline Lucas MP
    Leader, Green Party
    House of Commons”

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