BUDGET IS THE GREAT GREEN COP OUT

2008 Mawrth 12 12:00 AM

Commenting on today's budget, Jenny Willott, Welsh Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central, said:

"This budget will go down as the great green cop out and it also marks the abandonment of the government's child poverty targets.

"None of the green proposals, like changes to vehicle excise duty, or taxes on plastic bags, will come into force before 2009 at the earliest. We should be taking green action now.

"Also, the Government has missed an opportunity - green taxes should be used to encourage green behaviour and to enable tax cuts for the poor, not as a way to raise extra cash for the Government.

"On child poverty, using the Government's own figures, the money set aside to combat child poverty is £2.5bn below what is needed. It is surely now inconceivable that the Government will be able to meet its child poverty target for 2010.

"Bankruptcy levels in Wales have reached record levels and yet this budget gives no real help to families struggling with higher food bills, higher energy bills and higher debt repayments.

"In less than five years, fuel poverty in Wales has more than doubled. Increasing the winter fuel payment for one year will do nothing to combat this when energy prices are likely to remain high for many years to come.

"The biggest winner from the budget is the Government who will have an extra £1.8bn in their coffers by 2010.

"This is budget is not green, it protects the rich and abandons the poor, including thousands of children in Wales. It seems that Labour have finally completed their morph in to the Tory Party."

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