Welcome to West Kent Green Party
Our branch covers the towns and local authority districts of Tunbridge Wells, Tonbride & Malling and Sevenoaks.
Green reaction to Budget Blues – the first Conservative only budget in 20 years
Once again, we see an intensely political budget from George Osborne, one that puts the interests of the Tory Party ahead of the interests of the country as a whole.
He has attempted to pitch his tent on Labour territory by introducing the national living wage and is protecting older people and the better off (who tend to vote Tory) at the expense of the young and those on low, but above the minimum, wage who tend to vote Labour.
Natalie Bennett, Green Party Leader, said:
"This is a budget that profoundly fails the British people.
"We need to build a caring Britain, that provides for the needs of the young and the vulnerable, with a secure economic base that can be the foundation for the future in an economically volatile world. This budget does neither.
"The move towards a living wage standard as a minimum wage is welcome - and reflects a long-term Green Party campaign - but the tax credit and other benefit cuts are going to leave many struggling families close to or over the edge of financial disaster. And the living wage not applying to the under 25s, many of whom also won't be eligible for housing benefit, will leave many in impossible situations.
"The dropping of the level of Employment Support Allowance is a direct attack on the ill and disabled. And the drop in the benefits cap comes in the light of a legal ruling that the existing inadequate level puts Britain in breach of its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. This in one of the world's richest economies is simply a disgrace."
"The cuts to student maintenance grants are a symbol of the way this government has constructed its economic strategy on using rising household debt to fund tax cuts and fuel economic growth and refusing to rein in our still out-of-control, fraud-ridden financial sector, rather than building a strong, diverse, low-carbon economy of healthy small businesses and cooperatives making and growing products.
"In the uncertain, unstable global economic climate, the government should be prioritising reducing risk and building strong, diverse local economies.
"And as many other states are powering ahead with renewable energy, we have a government that's making it even harder to establish and develop renewable energy projects, while ignoring the economic, social and environmental benefits of investing in providing warm, comfortable, affordable-to-heat homes for all."
Expect an increase in homelessness, especially amongst the young and a further increase in child poverty as a direct result of this budget.
Caroline Lucas: Budget is 'cruel and counterproductive'
Osborne is attempting to create a two speed Britain and his introduction of a 'living wage' doesn't disguise this fact.
Jonathan Bartley: 'This is a divide and rule budget…'
What's more, George Osborne has done nothing to help us in the battle against climate change. In fact, his changes to the climate change levy constitute a £910m a-year raid on renewable energy while he is giving more subsidy to fossil fuels. This is not the action of a Chancellor who takes the threat of climate change seriously and, as we move towards a new international agreement on carbon reduction in December this year, Osborne's stance has to be deeply worrying. (see http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jul/09/green-energy-sector-attacks-budget-climate-change-levy)
Read more from a party that offers Real Change HERE>
WEST KENT UNDER THREAT
Our countryside, water, air quality and house prices are under threat. Large areas of west Kent have been earmarked for shale gas and oil exploration employing the controversial process of Hydraulic Fracturing or "Fracking" which has been associated with earthquakes and groundwater contamination.
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