The Budget: George Osborne to put growth ahead of ‘green crap’

The Chancellor is expected to give in to business demands to reduce penalties for high use of fossil fuel, and that worries environmental campaigners

George Osborne will use his Budget this week to insist he is building a “resilient economy” as he prepares to sweep away more “green crap” – or environmental taxes – to help British industry to sustain the recovery.

The Chancellor, buoyed by news of a dramatic upturn in growth which he will say justifies his continuing commitment to austerity, is expected to ease carbon taxes for energy-intensive manufacturers. Amid renewed talk of Mr Osborne positioning for the Tory leadership, the Chancellor’s moves against green taxes – or “green crap”, as the Prime Minister was alleged to have described them, will be aimed at delighted Conservative MPs as much as British industry.

Mr Osborne is expected to act on business demands to freeze the carbon price floor, which imposes a tax on companies for high use of fossil fuels and came in last April. The CBI says it is restricting the ability of the manufacturing sector to contribute to the recovery. The Chancellor could freeze the tax for as much as four years, a move which will alarm environmentalists because it will lead to increased CO2 emissions.

It follows a scaling back of green levies in the Autumn Statement in December, when Mr Osborne pledged to cut £50 from household energy bills by reducing the energy company obligation.

Yet his Budget on Wednesday will come just 24 hours before Britain takes the lead in Europe to cut carbon emissions across the EU by 40 per cent by 2030. Ed Davey’s presence, as a Liberal Democrat Energy Secretary at the European Council in Brussels, will underscore his party’s insistence that close co-operation with the EU is essential for tackling climate change – two things that are under threat from right-wing Conservative MPs. The meeting comes ahead of a major report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on the latest scientific evidence on the issue.

Mr Osborne will argue that, despite promising signs of growth, the UK economy needs to be more balanced towards manufacturing exports.

A Treasury source said yesterday: “The Government’s long-term economic plan is dealing with Britain’s debts, helping businesses create jobs and delivering increased security and peace of mind for hard-working people. But the job is not done. Britain is still borrowing too much. To earn our way in the world we have to invest more and export more. We need to back businesses right across the country and in all industries.

“So the Budget next week will continue to tackle the country’s problems head on and will set out what we need to do to build a resilient economy.”

According to a poll for The Independent on Sunday today, a third of people think they will end up paying more tax if Labour wins the election than if the Conservatives win. Nearly six out of 10 voters believe the Government is not cutting spending in a fair way and 63 per cent believe that rich people stand to benefit more than people on middle incomes. Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne are more trusted to make the right decisions about the economy than Ed Miliband and Ed Balls.

Meanwhile, a report from the Social Economy Alliance, to be published tomorrow, presents alarming findings that Britons have poor levels of economic literacy. A survey for the organisation found that only 48 per cent of adults say they understand how the economy works, with 56 per cent saying they understand how their spending decisions affect their local economy, and 38 per cent saying business and economic  news stories are not relevant to them. The report, From the Bottom Up, argues for more awareness of social enterprises, run by citizens and communities, that hand economic power to grassroots.

With more widespread knowledge and understanding of basic economics, the report says that people can take action and have more control over how things are run in their communities. It follows an international study in 2010 which found that economic literacy in Britain is behind many industrialised nations.

Voices
Hunted: A stag lies dead on Jura, where David Cameron holidays and has himself stalked deer
voicesThe Scotland I know is becoming a playground for the rich
News
Russell Brand has written a book of political analysis called Revolution
peopleFilm star says he is 'not interested in making money anymore'
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites those Star Wars rumours
News
newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Jessica Chastain during an interview in Los Angeles.
filmsOscar hopeful Jessica Chastain reveals the secret to her breakthrough success
News
people

Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'

News
news
Life and Style
Meow! ... Again, Kim Kardashian goes for a sexy Halloween costume, wrapping her body with a latex catsuit and high heeled knee boots
fashionFrom Heidi Klum to Kim Kardashian
News
news

Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'

Arts and Entertainment
On The Apprentice, “serious” left the room many moons ago and yet still we watch
tv

Greatest mystery about the hit BBC1 show is how it continues to be made at all, writes Grace Dent

News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
JK Rowling is releasing a new Harry Potter story about Dolores Umbridge
booksChristmas comes early for wizard fans
Arts and Entertainment
filmsOculus Rift offers breathtakingly realistic simulation of zero gravity
Sport
footballAccording to revelations from Sergio Aguero's new biography
Life and Style
tech

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Senior Research Fellow in Gender, Food and Resilient Communities

£47,334 - £59,058 per annum: Coventry University: The Centre for Agroecology, ...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker