Posts Tagged: Public spending


Sustainable development? So far, it’s mostly been slash-and-burn

The bonfire of the quangos is in full swing, and the Government has started to throw green wood onto the rising flames. Last Thursday, to barely a whisper in the press, not one but two environmental bodies were axed: the Sustainable Development Commission (SDC), and the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution (RCEP). No mere kindling, these pair: the SDC has existed for 10 years, whilst the RCEP was established by Ted Heath back in 1970. These branches of government have now been sacrificed in the name of cost-savings. Those few who spotted the announcement reacted with shock and exclamation. Green MP Caroline Lucas branded the move an “absolute disaster”. George Monbiot called it “irrational and counter-productive”.  Jonathan Porritt, former chair of the SDC, bitterly lamented its axing as being “dogma-driven and brazenly cynical”. But the demise of the SDC is in many ways no surprise. One need only consult the auguries – that is to say, the small-statist think tanks whose position papers have prefigured much of the Coalition’s programme of spending cuts. Read more

Cuts? Sure, if you mean emissions cuts

Cuts! Cuts! Cuts! The knives are out at Westminster as all three major parties vie to outdo each other in their commitment to reining in the public debt and slashing government spending. With the Lib Dems retreating from their promise to abolish tuition fees, and the Tories looking to cut defence budgets by a quarter, it seems that few policy areas are off-limits. How, then, might spending on the environment fare in a time of retrenchment? Read more