Sheffield Greens have criticised the Chancellor’s Spring Budget for continuing austerity and not properly addressing the crisis in the NHS and social care funding, or air pollution.
Commenting on the proposals, Natalie Bennett, prospective Green Party candidate for Sheffield Central, said
“Greens are disappointed that the Chancellor has announced that there will be no relief from austerity, despite millions of people struggling to make ends meet, and that he has not taken the opportunity to address some of the fundamental problems currently existing in our society.
“This is not a budget that is fair and progressive, and will not work for the people of Sheffield.
“Last month, Sheffield Greens launched our “Let Sheffield Breathe!” campaign, demanding urgent action on air quality. We are disappointed that there has been no expansion of government-funded Clear Air Zones, already covering Leeds, to include Sheffield.
“Air pollution in Sheffield is at dangerous levels right across the city, and contributes to the early death of approximately 500 people per year here.
“This budget was also a missed opportunity to take serious action on the provision of social care. Now more than ever, with the NHS at breaking point, long-term funding is needed to ensure that people are able to be cared for in the community – not in hospital. Today’s meagre measures do not come anywhere close to tackling this problem.
“Social care is chronically underfunded and on the verge of collapse, so needs investment rather than to be the victim of central Government cuts.”