This week’s Budget comes at a pivotal moment, with the end of lockdown in sight and as the UK prepares to host the COP26 climate change summit in November this year.
If the Covid pandemic has taught us anything it is that our society is unfair. And it has shone a light on how unprepared our government was for this crisis. That’s why I have written to the Chancellor Rishi Sunak urging him to ensure that this Budget is a break from the past, repairing the economy whilst fixing our society and preparing us for our next challenge, Climate Change.
Leading economic institutions including the IMF and the IFS are all in agreement that now is the time for the government to invest, not consolidate and we can create a million new green jobs.
Let’s invest in our economy to ensure that there are good quality jobs, fit for the future for our workforce who have sacrificed so much. Let’s show real leadership across the world that we are ready to tackle climate change. Let’s align our measures of success, not with GDP, but with the health and wellbeing of individuals, communities and the environment. Let’s thank all the millions of individuals who have persevered this past year and show them the future can be brighter.
[i] A budget for a green recovery: A special session of the APPG on the Green New Deal and the APPG on Limits to Growth, 24 Feb 2021 https://limits2growth.org.uk/events/budget-green-recovery/
[ii] OECD warns governments to rethink constraints on public spending, Financial Times, 4 January 2021: https://www.ft.com/content/7c721361-37a4-4a44-9117-6043afee0f6b
[iii] The New Economics Foundation as part of the Build Back Better coalition has put forward a set of recommendations for the Spring Budget: https://www.buildbackbetteruk.org/the-peoples-emergency-budget
[iv] Further proposals from Tax Justice UK: https://www.taxjustice.uk/blog/tax-reform-and-climate-justice-time-to-act
[v] Advani, A, Chamberlain, E and Summers, A, A Wealth Tax for the UK: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5ef4d1da53822a571493ebd0/t/5ffcfaea93e2771243fce2ff/1610414842497/A-Wealth-Tax-For-The-UK.pdf, the final report of the Wealth Tax Commission, December 2020.
[vi] The Bank of England’s climate-related financial disclosure 2020 June 2020: https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/annual-report/2020/climate-related-financial-disclosure-report-2019-20.pdf?la=en&hash=5DA959C54540287A2E90C823807E089055E6721B
[vii] Letter 100 experts and civil society figures on decarbonising the financial system and calling on the Bank of England to exclude fossil fuel assets from future bond purchases and collateral framework, March 2020: http://positivemoney.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Open-letter-to-Andrew-Bailey.pdf
Letter from Environmental Audit Committee to Bank of England, January 2021: https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/4394/documents/44443/default/
[viii] Wellbeing Economy Governments (WEGo) alliance: https://wellbeingeconomy.org/wego
Dr Suzy Morrisey, Wellbeing Economy Alliance, New Zealand, former Policy and Engagement Lead for the Living Standards Framework, NZ Treasury spoke at the APPG pre-budget meeting on 24 February 2021
[x] 10 New Insights in Climate Science 2020, 27 January 2021 https://unfccc.int/news/new-report-reveals-top-10-insights-in-climate-science-in-2020