Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

People hold placards reading 'Austerity Kills' and 'Tories out' as they take part in an anti-austerity demonstration outside Parliament in London, Britain. (Photo: EPA)

With No Mention of Climate Crisis and More Austerity, Theresa May's UK Budget Decried as "Insult to Our Young People's Future"

"The government claims austerity has worked so now they can end it. That is absolutely the opposite of the truth—austerity needs to end because it has failed."

Jake Johnson

While British Prime Minister Theresa May's Autumn budget rollout was accompanied by much fanfare and lofty promises—"the era of austerity is finally coming to an end," proclaimed U.K. finance minister Philip Hammond—the specifics of the budget detailed on Monday were met with a mixture of disgust and alarm by the Labour Party and environmentalists, who argued that the plan is stuffed with "half measures" and tax cuts for the rich but zero policies to address the human-caused climate crisis.

"Cannot believe how out of touch this government is."
—Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP
Highlighting May's recent speech declaring that deep cuts to public spending are over, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn excoriated May and Hammond for delivering a "broken promise budget" that vows "quick fixes while austerity grinds on."

"Far from people's hard work and sacrifices having paid off... this government has frittered it away in ideological tax cuts to the richest in our society," Corbyn said. "The government claims austerity has worked so now they can end it. That is absolutely the opposite of the truth—austerity needs to end because it has failed."

Just ahead of May's big budget unveil, the Labour Party tweeted out a video that portrays May and her cabinet as cruel plutocrats and condemns their record of slashing life-saving programs for vulnerable in order to deliver massive gifts to the ultra-wealthy.

Watch:

Though May's Autumn budget does call for some increases in social spending, critics said these boosts will not be nearly enough to recover from years of Tory austerity.

"Your budget is an insult to our young people's future."
—Momentum
While touting the budget's proposed increase in education spending, Hammond boasted that schools will now be able to afford "the little extras they need"—a remark that was quickly denounced as an insult to British schools that are facing massive teacher shortages and cutting hours due to lack of funds.

"Cannot believe how out of touch this government is," Caroline Lucas, co-leader of the U.K. Green Party, wrote on Twitter. "Schools don’t just need money for 'little extras'—they are struggling to pay staff, upkeep buildings, and provide vital support to children with special needs."

The grassroots left-wing group Momentum added that, in May's budget, "schools are getting less money than the pot hole fund."

"We have oversized classes, lack of basic stationery, and a cap on teachers' pay," the group wrote on Twitter. "Your budget is an insult to our young people's future."

May's budget was similarly denounced by environmentalists as an appalling insult to the planet, given that—in his speech detailing the Autumn budget—Hammond didn't bother to mention the climate crisis once.

Hammond did, however, announce that the budget will maintain special tax subsidies for the oil and gas industry.

"Three weeks since the world's leading climate scientists said governments have just 12 years to turn the tide on the catastrophic and irreversible consequences of climate change, the chancellor has delivered a budget that reads as though he missed the memo," Greenpeace U.K. declared on Twitter, referencing a recent United Nations report warning that the world must cut carbon emissions in half by 2030 to avert global catastrophe.

"It's unforgivable that Hammond failed to even mention climate change," concluded Lucas of the Green Party. "It's not clear what planet Hammond is living on—because he's certainly doing nothing to protect those of us living on this one. His deluded budget was built on a fantasy future where the technical revolution will solve all of society's problems. Our children will never forgive him."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Sanders Demands End to Medicare Premium Hike From Alzheimer's Drug

Biogen's original price for the controversial drug, he argues, "is the perfect example of why Medicare should be negotiating drug prices with the pharmaceutical industry."

Jessica Corbett ·


'Monumental Victory' as Biden Cancels Boundary Waters Mining Leases

Rep. Betty McCollum called the administration's decision "a rejection of the deeply flawed and politically motivated process under the Trump administration."

Brett Wilkins ·


Rights Groups Demand Hearings on the 'Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale Act'

"The longer Congress waits," warned one advocate, "the stronger and more dangerous this industry will become."

Kenny Stancil ·


Democrats Urge Biden to Abandon Dangerous Trump Policies on Nuclear Weapons

With the Nuclear Posture Review, say congressional lawmakers, the president can ensure "future generations can finally be free from the nuclear sword of Damocles that hangs over all our heads."

Andrea Germanos ·


'There Is No Military Solution': Jayapal, Lee Demand Diplomacy on Ukraine

"We call upon our colleagues to allow the administration to find a diplomatic way out of this crisis," said the progressive Democrats.

Jake Johnson ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo