Angela Terry says:
“We are living through a cost-of-living crisis and a climate crisis, both fuelled by fossil fuels. What we needed from the chancellor is a way out of this dependency. What we got was tinkering around the edges.
“Cutting fuel duty is a temporary fix that ignores the fifth of UK households that don’t have cars. According to the government’s own figures, 40% of the lowest income households are car-free – so this will do little for the people currently struggling the most. It will also help keep us locked into the fossil-fuel-based energy system that’s created this situation in the first place and continues to exacerbate the toxic air in our cities.
“The cutting to zero of VAT on green home improvements – like solar panels and heat pumps – is welcome – because these clean technologies are essential to replacing the gas boilers in our homes.
“To meet our climate targets, we need a raft of ambitious measures to help us transition to green energy as soon as possible. It will help reduce energy bills, create jobs, cut our dependency on fossil fuels from despotic regimes and help thwart climate chaos. We can’t delay any longer. We need to make these changes urgently – as the latest IPCC report from the world’s climate scientists made clear.
“Of course, even the quickest green energy transition won’t help pensioners or parents having to choose between food and fuel right now. Citizens Advice estimates that over 14 million people won’t be able to afford their energy bills from October. As well as providing more financial help, the single most effective thing the UK Government could immediately do for them is introduce a widespread home insulation programme.
“The UK has the leakiest housing stock in Western Europe. Our homes are draughty. People are paying for heat that immediately escapes into the air around them. We could start by improving the energy efficiency of all of our homes, but especially those of the most vulnerable. It would help cut bills and carbon. It’s a win-win. This is what we need to see next from the Government to tackle the energy and climate crisis. ”