The Green Party’s candidate for Sheffield Central has criticised the chancellor’s budget for its short-term thinking, ignorance towards climate change and lack of concern for the poor.
Dr Jillian Creasy, who has been a city councillor in Sheffield since 2004, said the Chancellor’s proposals to balance the deficit show they have “no concern for anyone except his wealthy friends.”
“The £12 billion of cuts to welfare means more people will be cold, hungry and homeless,” she said. “£13 billion of cuts to government departments means a further downgrading of public services on which we all depend for a decent quality of life. And £5 billion of savings from tackling tax evasion is a drop in the ocean of what is actually owed.”
“Local authorities, especially in big northern cities, have seen massive cuts to their allowance from central government. Sheffield City Council has lost £238m so far in cuts and this budget shows no signs of slowing the grim wheel of austerity. Next year’s planned £61 million of cuts to the Council’s budget will affect front line services like social care and waste collection. There is no need for this.
“Taxing the wealthy and investing in infrastructure and jobs would help the economy and make society fairer and more sustainable. The selfishness and short-termism of this budget is breath-taking.”
As for the environment, George Osborne seems oblivious to the twin crises of dwindling fossil fuel supplies and climate change.
“We are crying out for investment in energy saving and renewable energy, for industry, housing and public transport. Increasing subsidies on fossil fuels and freezing the fuel duty escalator yet again shows he only cares about short-term economic growth, not about long-term security.”
As Health and Social Care spokesperson for the Green Party and a GP for over 25 years, Jillian Creasy also criticised the lack of solutions for the funding crisis facing the NHS.
She said: “There is a nod in the direction of the NHS with more money for child mental health services. But nothing to suggest anything like the amount needed to balance the books, let alone to relieve the crisis in Accident and Emergency departments and caring for people with long-term illnesses at home or in hospital.”
“We believe that austerity is a political project, designed to reinforce the power of financial and corporate elites, and achieve the long-held ambition of those on the right in politics of bringing about the shrinking of the state,” she said.
–Read national reaction to the budget here.
-Jillian Creasy was elected as the Green’s first city councillor in 2004 in Sheffield Central ward. She was re-elected in 2007 and 2011.
-Dr Creasy is standing for the Green Party in Sheffield Central constituency. In the 2014 local elections, the Green Party came first in Sheffield Central and Broomhill and second in Nether Edge, Walkley and Manor Castle. All five wards make up Sheffield Central constituency.
-Nationwide survey Vote For Policies allows people to choose which policies they prefer for each area without knowing which party is proposing them. At 18:30 on 17th March – the day before the Budget announcement – the results showed that out of 93,800 respondents the Greens have the most popular policies on the Economy. The Greens came first in this policy with 28% (30.2% if you include the Scottish Greens as well), with Labour second on 25.9%.
-The Vote For Policies survey also shows that, out of 825 respondents, the Green Party’s policies are the most popular in Sheffield Central. They received 31.5% of the votes, with Labour in second place on 26.9%.