SUPPORT for local businesses and cheaper, more accessible public transport, is what the Isle of Wight Green Party would like to see in today's budget.

Nationally, the Green Party has urged Chancellor Rishi Sunak to use the budget to make sure the biggest polluters pay for the carbon they emit at great cost to us all.

The Greens put forward their proposals to shift the economy towards more urgent climate action while also ensuring support is provided to those who are suffering the most during the Covid crisis.

Central to these plans is an upstream carbon tax which would see the biggest polluters pay the most for CO2 emissions at source, with the money raised paid out to those in society who need it most.

Isle of Wight Green Party chair Vix Lowthion said: “The Chancellor has a timely opportunity to show how seriously the government takes its position as chair of COP26 and to start pulling some powerful economic levers to move away from fossil fuels and towards a cleaner, healthier future for us all.

“We cannot return to business as usual, but must move towards the kinds of policies that will improve life for everybody, especially on the Isle of Wight which has seen a rise in unemployment and a devastating impact on our high streets.

“We must prioritise support for our local businesses in the coming months, to ensure that we can have a safe and happy summer.

"In the longer term we need increased investment in a huge retrofit programme to make sure that everybody has a warm home, and in cheap and accessible public transport to help dramatically reduce car miles.”

The Green Party’s proposals include:

  • Extend the business rate holiday and VAT exemption for as long as is necessary for the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with compensation to local authorities for loss of income
  • Make the £20 Universal Credit uplift permanent
  • Transfer the £27bn destined for road-building towards investment in cheap and accessible public transport and active travel options
  • A carbon tax of £100 per tonne of carbon dioxide rising to £500 by 2030 on fossil fuel companies, applied to all emissions, with some of the tax yield used to compensate those on lower incomes
  • Reverse the VAT incentive on construction away from new build and towards renovation, with a reduced five per cent rate of VAT on retrofit and low-energy products
  • A Universal Basic Income, without conditions, to protect people against ongoing turbulence from Covid