There are measures in the Budget that deserve praise – but again it falls short on climate action

Editorial: The Budget was surprisingly ungreen, given the backdrop of the Cop26 summit and Boris Johnson’s grand ambitions for success

Wednesday 27 October 2021 21:30

There is no doubt that Rishi Sunak has a certain talent for presentation. In classic fashion, the chancellor has done what most of his predecessors have when they’ve found themselves in a tight fiscal corner – made the best of their limited options, offered something for everyone, and stealthily transferred the political and financial burden of repairing the public finances from Whitehall to local government.

From flights to regional airports to English sparkling wine, pubs to the merchant navy and investment in Stoke-on-Trent to the prospective restoration of overseas aid, there was scarcely a special interest left neglected. Including some of the lower paid who were granted a modest partial relief from the revisions to universal credit.

Nothing wrong with any of that, necessarily, but it made for an unrealistic boosterish view of the medium-term prospects for the economy and for the living standards of the British people – and still less for the environment and dealing with the climate crisis, the biggest factor in the quality of life for all.

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