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Chancellor’s Autumn Statement: A Missed Opportunity

Greens in Gloucestershire described the government’s Autumn Statement, delivered by the Chancellor on Wednesday, as yet another missed opportunity to help the economy work for the common good and provide well paying jobs. The Chancellor’s statement crucially misses the importance of ensuring that enough tax is collected from corporations to ensure investment in green infrastructure and public services. The Chancellor’s failure to meet his targets for deficit reduction – and not mentioning the burgeoning debt itself – points to a failure in the money and political system.

Chris Jockel, Green Parliamentary Candidate for Stroud said:

“I would like to see the Chancellor get serious about taxation by tackling corporate tax avoidance and ending his opposition to the Financial Transaction Tax (the Robin Hood Tax). Both these measures could raise billions and bring an end to the cruel politics of austerity.”

He continued “The £15 billion ‘roads revolution’ is economic and environmental illiteracy at a time when Gloucestershire County Council and other Highway Authorities are unable to fill potholes, cutting bus services, and the average distances travelled by car have been declining. I want to see a railway and cycling revolution – investment in a publicly owned railway; and a revolution against fuel poverty – a massive home insulation programme. £15 billion on warmer homes, public transport and cycling would work for the common good and address climate change; the ‘roads revolution’ is like loosening your belt to lose weight, a milestone on the road to nowhere.”