This post was originally published by City A.M.
Some truisms are worth repeating: the Treasury is powerful. Unlike its counterparts overseas, the Treasury in Britain is able to set policy for economic development and control government spending. This power, however, is also an impediment on progress. It is one of the slowest Whitehall departments to change its ways and is holding back the government’s green agenda.
This post is by Paul Morling, principal economist at the RSPB.
In commissioning the Dasgupta Review in 2019 the Treasury demonstrated a clear recognition that solving the nature crisis is vital for the functioning of our economy at large. To speak in economic terms, nature is a macroeconomic consideration and the review itself concludes that addressing the crisis is foundational to sustainable economic prosperity. In short, if we don’t tackle the nature crisis, our real economy and our quality of life is going to suffer.
Of the myriad of outcomes of the elections last week, one consistent lesson was that delivering (or at least the perception of doing so) wins votes. There was consolidation for Conservatives where Brexit felt like a promise kept or where, initially, funding from the Treasury has been noticed by residents.
This post by was originally published on Business Green.
Tax is one of the most powerful tools the government has at its disposal to address the challenges of the 21st century. In combination with the right regulation, targets and strategies, taxes could be used to shape a sustainable economy, giving people and businesses alike the incentives they need to do the right thing.
This post was first published on Business Green.
“In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” So observed Benjamin Franklin in 1789 (and possibly a great many others before him) and it is still accepted as one of life’s unalterable facts. But, while the grim reaper comes for all of us at some point, the situation when it comes to taxes is not so inevitable as the aphorism implies. Read more
Earlier this month, the Treasury released its analysis of the costs of opposition policy, including the effect of a landfill ban for food waste on government expenditure. It’s important to understand the costs of green policy, but these Treasury calculations have missed the big picture. Read more
It generally pays to remain sanguine in the face of the ups and downs of the public policy debate, because it’s usually driven by short term concerns that don’t have a lasting effect in the real world.
Last week, however, I found myself looking at data from one of the dustiest corners of Whitehall and feeling shocked that the reverse had happened: a series of short term decisions is unpicking long term plans to modernise our economy. Read more
This week, the New Climate Economy (NCE) project published its report spelling out the compelling economic logic behind moving to a low carbon world. In contrast to the earlier Stern Review, there has been a focus on large and fast growing developing countries, which are expected to generate the largest growth in CO2 emissions in the coming decades.
But, here at the home of Stern’s original report, is the UK – and in particular the Treasury – still heeding its advice? The latest scaling down of ambition for the deployment of renewable energy in the Treasury’s Infrastructure Pipeline will inevitably raise doubts. Read more