Green spending slashed
Posted by Ian at 8 31 PM on Saturday, July 17
DAVID Cameron is to slash spending on green technology but pour hundreds of millions of pounds into charities, voluntary groups and churches, the News of the World can reveal.
The Prime Minister’s first pledge after taking over as Conservative Party leader was to slash greenhouse gasses and promote eco-friendly energy.
But he has shelved a £1 billion fund to invest in new British companies using green technology.
The money was supposed to be used by a Green Investment Bank which would plough cash into firms building offshore wind and wave farms, green power stations and other ambitious projects. It would have come from the sale of assets such as the Channel Tunnel rail link and the Port of Dover.
Now any cash from any asset sell-offs will go back into government coffers to pay off debts.
Instead, Mr Cameron — whose party’s logo is a green tree — will tomorrow reveal plans for a “Big Society Bank”.
In a speech in the North West, he will say that more than £350million sitting in unused or dormant bank accounts across the country will be used to fund the new ethical bank.
The cash will then be handed out in low interest loans to start up community schemes.
The Big Society Bank will be up and running within a year.
People would also be able to make cash by investing in the bank, buying government-backed bonds or ISAs. The ISAs would then provide cash for new schools, prison rehabilitation or other socially useful projects.
Mr Cameron will also unveil plans for a Communities First Fund. This will encourage people to set up local community groups.
A National Citizen Service will provide helpers across the country. This voluntary service for young people should have 6,000 members in a couple of years.
There will also be a Big Society Day to celebrate volunteering.
Mr Cameron’s idea involves transferring power away from the state and giving individuals more responsibility.
He wants to cut state spending to help slash Britain’s massive deficit. But he will promise these new schemes will ensure vital local projects which have depended on the government for cash will have MORE money to play with.
However, to do that, the PM has had to shelve plans to invest in firms setting up “green jobs.” His Labour predecessor Gordon Brown promised to create a million jobs by investing in new green companies.
But the money was never there because government borrowing had got so high.
Former Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband said: “This development shows that the coalition is abandoning Labour’s strategy of backing green industries to create the jobs of the future.
“Failing to press ahead with the Green Investment Bank damages our chances of leading the world in the green economy of the future. The short-termist, anti-industry mindset of the 1980s is back.”