Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Budget? What budget?

Copy of a letter written by me, first published in the Bristol Observer in April 1990, about the budget of the day (pictured, click for larger version). Almost every word of it applies directly to today's budget - that's how much the economics of sustainability has advanced at the top of Government despite the glut of evidence that we desperately need it for our health, our jobs and our future! The only glimmer of promise was the setting up of a green investment bank but even that had too little money backing it. Basically this budget was hardly a budget at all, more a straight political speech, eyes firmly on the general election.

The budget could have been used as an opportunity to put our economy on the right road. This chance was wasted. It could have been used to set us on the road away from the rat race of non-selective economic growth, which is wasteful and polluting – it did not.

It could have helped create a way of life we can afford in both economic, social and environmental terms – it did not. It could have helped create the jobs that need people, by building on the resources of the people – it did not.

It could have helped to build a more self-reliant and stable economy – instead we are still reliant on a system of international finance which cannot last much longer. It could have started to establish an economy which can be sustained into the future, without killing our environment and exploiting the people – it did not.

...Instead there are signs the Chancellor had the…next general election in mind. He wanted to set the scene for favourable short term conditions to get elected next time – and he has probably failed even to do that. What a lack of courage and vision he showed.

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