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Autumn Statement 2013: Chancellor undermines economy’s long-term health

news release

Commenting on the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement earlier today (Thursday 5 December 2013), Friends of the Earth’s Executive Director Andy Atkins said: “Yet again the long-term health of our economy has been completely undermined by the Chancellor’s short-sighted determination to keep the nation hooked on dirty and increasing costly fossil fuels.

“Handing tax-breaks to climate-wrecking fracking firms simply highlights the fact that George Osborne hasn’t done his homework: they won’t lower bills, MPs say they are unjustified – and they could be illegal.

“The quickest and most cost-effective way to tackle rising energy bills, and end the scandal of thousands of people dying in heat-leaking homes, is to invest in a comprehensive insulation programme. But the Government has caved in to Big Six pressure and given energy efficiency the cold shoulder.

“Building a strong economy and protecting the environment are two sides of the same coin, but yet again the Government has left them both short-changed.”


Notes to editors:

1. Friends of the Earth briefing ahead of the Autumn Statement 2013.

2. Friends of the Earth believes that tax-breaks for the fracking industy may be illegal. We will be writing to the Treasury to follow this up.

3. Earlier this week the Environmental Audit Committee of MPs published a major report urging the Chancellor to be honest about the subsidies he’s giving to nuclear power and  fossil fuels – and warning him not to roll back on energy saving and help for renewable technologies.

4. Friends of the Earth research revealed that the tax breaks George Osborne has given to North Sea oil and gas in  2012/13 were worth a total of £2 billion to the industry.

For press information please contact the Friends of the Earth media team on 020 7566 1649.

Published by Friends of the Earth Trust

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