Budget 2008

March 13, 2008 at 2:38 pm / by

I spent the whole of yesterday working on housing cases whilst watching Chancellor Alistair Darling’s 2008 Budget.

As Women’s Officer for London Young Labour, I was happy to hear Mr Darling’s announcement that there will be a capital fund of £12.5m to encourage more women entrepreneurs. I was also encouraged by the Chancellor’s promise to help lift 250,000 children out of poverty.

There was definitely a distinct ‘green’ streak running through the Budget. As well as a pledge of £26m to help make homes greener and consideration to raise the UK target for emissions cuts to 80% by 2050, the Chancellor also seemed determined to do something about disposable plastic bags. If retailers do not take steps themselves to cut back on their use of plastic bags, then legislation may be brought in next year that could force them to charge for these bags. I think this is an important step and one that has already been adopted by countries, not just in Europe, but worldwide. In fact, polythene bags have been banned in Bangladesh for 5 years now – perhaps Mr Darling should consider following that example?