Caroline Lucas has branded the government as being “run by millionaires, for millionaires” following yesterday’s budget.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt claimed the UK economy would avoid a recession, with inflation expected to be more than halved by the end of next year.

Among his announcements included a cap on the amount workers can accumulate in pensions savings, 30 hours of free childcare for working parents in England for one to two-year-olds, and an increase in the main rate of corporation tax.

He also outlined the “four pillars” of the government’s industrial strategy - enterprise, employment, education and “everywhere” - referring to schemes for levelling up.

The Argus: Chancellor Jeremy Hunt delivering his Budget to MPsChancellor Jeremy Hunt delivering his Budget to MPs (Image: PA)

However, Ms Lucas, the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, said that the budget was one of “missed opportunities”.

She said that, instead of ending subsidies to oil and gas companies or introducing a wealth tax to fund a pay rise for public sector workers, the Chancellor “made all the wrong political choices”.


Ms Lucas said: “This is a government run by millionaires, for millionaires.

“With Brighton and Hove facing an acute housing crisis, comprehensive grant funding to enable councils to build warm, affordable and zero-carbon social housing was shamefully absent.

“Despite waxing lyrical about his four Es, Hunt utterly failed to mention a fifth - the environment.

“Just when we needed a solar rooftop revolution, an unblocking and upscaling of renewables, and a commitment to invest in our totally neglected, sewage-filled rivers and seas, we get far costly and too slow nuclear white elephants.”

Ms Lucas did welcome the Chancellor’s choice to freeze beer duty, which she said would “be welcome news for Brighton’s pubs”.

“Now he must commit to giving all small businesses green grants or vouchers to help them cut energy bills for the long term,” she said.

The Argus:

Keir Starmer criticised the Chancellor’s budget, claiming the government was “dressing up stagnation as stability”.

He said: “This is a failure you can measure not just in the figures, but in the empty pockets of working people right across the country.

“13 years without wage growth, 13 years no better off, 13 years stuck in a doom loop of lower growth, higher taxes and broken public services.”