John McDonnell: ‘Bitterly disappointed’ by Tory climate Budget

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Labour’s John McDonnell has criticised the government’s “failure” to invest in action on climate change after Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Budget was unveiled yesterday.

The shadow chancellor told talkRADIO that the spending plan was “nowhere near enough” and, on some issues, went “significantly in the wrong direction”.

Mr Sunak announced a £12 billion spending package to tackle the economic impacts of coronavirus, as well as billions to improve infrastructure and connectivity.

A £27 billion investment into major road schemes is set to go ahead, funding more than 20 connections to ports and airports, more than 100 junctions and 4,000 miles of road.

But his opposition counterpart said the move will hinder the country’s environmental targets.

He told Mike Graham: “I was bitterly disappointed about the failure really to invest into the existential threat of climate change and not only not invest in it but also then to announce £27 billion worth of roads that will ensure that we don't meet that climate change target.”

Yesterday’s Budget – the first of Boris Johnson’s new government – surprised many with its scale of spending.

Mr McDonnell said the investment promises were a result of Labour pressure, saying his party had “shifted” the Conservatives “onto different ground”.

But he reiterated that the Budget was “nowhere near where it needs to go” and warned that it reflected “the usual Conservative tactics”.

“To stay in power they’ll promise the earth and I doubt that they’ll deliver – I think a lot of people will be pretty disappointed,” he concluded.

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