The government’s moves on fuel in today’s Budget “will increase the UK’s oil addiction”, according to Friends of the Earth.
The environmental group attacked the Budget as doing “little to help people cope with long-term rising fossil fuel prices, capitalise on the UK’s huge green job potential or tackle climate change”.
Friends of the Earth’s executive director Andy Atkins said: “In the face of a global oil crisis, this Budget will increase the UK’s oil addiction, and people across the UK will be forced to pay the price.
“The government talks about ending our fossil-fuel dependency, but like a 40-year-old smoker pledging to give up in 10 years’ time, the Chancellor is taking a reckless gamble.”
Chancellor George Osborne today revealed that the Green Investment Bank would be set up next year with £3bn funding and would be ready to lend by 2015. But this, said Mr Atkins, was too little and ultimately would be too late.
“The Green Investment Bank should have been a vehicle to drive the UK’s economic recovery, but by delaying the bank’s borrowing powers the Treasury has sneaked round the back of the motor and siphoned off the fuel, just as the rest of government is firing up the ignition.
“In the global race to develop green industry, the Treasury seems determined to make the UK lose.”