Previous posts illustrate how we already seriously lag behind other countries in the "greenness" of our green stimulus plan (if indeed it merits this description at all). We need a stimulus orders of magnitude higher than we have or we will never meet tough emissions targets or maximise job creation potential. The Government proposes £1bn on climate change including £435m for energy efficiency, £525m on offshore wind - far too little and needs to build up to be 10 to 15 times as much.
The budegt often simply did not go far enough. It included £1.7Bn extra help for jobseekers, but only £250m for training. Help with finding a job is no good if there are no jobs to find. Training though is a productive activity for anyone, especially unemployed people when jobs are short. £500m was allocated on new homes - not enough. Only £100m on council houses.
Darling announced a cut in public sector pensions. Average public sector pension is only £3000, reflecting poor pay. Greens want to see better pensions for all, and the foundation is a better state pension which should be set at £165 a week in the party's view.
Higher rate tax relief on pensions removed for those above £150,000 is a welcome development as it matches current Green policy. Introducing a 50% tax rate for incomes above £150,000 is also welcome but I'd only consider this a start - we really need to go much further, bring in genuine eco-taxation, introduce further tax bands on the super-wealthy and take low earners out of tax altogether.