£50m cut from green economy budget
Hidden cuts to the green economy fuel the recession. As David Thorpe commented on my fuel poverty blog, it seems that the government actually under spent its energy efficiency budget by a third last year, saving £50.6 million. Today, the Energy Secretary Ed Davey was telling the Clean Energy Ministerial in London that:
“We should make more strongly the business case for going green. Efficiency policies are unashamedly good for growth – using less resources lowers operating costs and frees up capital.”
But as we blogged earlier, deep funding cuts are seriously damaging progress towards eliminating fuel poverty. Now, a Parliamentary Answer to his Shadow Minister, Caroline Flint, seems to suggest that one third of the budget was unspent for the last financial year, 2011-12, £50.6 million:
Bear with us. According to Hansard (Citation: HC Deb, 23 April 2012, c620W) the energy minister, Greg Barker, confirmed that the original budget for Warm Front and associated fuel poverty expenditure for 2011-12 was £110m. During 2011-12 total expenditure was almost £108 million with a further £0.6 million committed but not yet paid. Therefore, of the original Warm Front budget £1.4 million was unspent.
But, the budget was increased by £35 million during the year as a result of £25 million allocated to support the completion of outstanding works from 2010-11, with a further £10 million provided by the Department of Health. The energy department also received agreed rebates from Carillion Energy Services of nearly £14 million. These rebates were used to offset expenditure in 2011-12 bringing a total reported expenditure for the year to £94.4 million. Against the new budget of £145 million for 2011-12, £50.6 million was unspent.