The 2015 Budget, outlined this afternoon by the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, gave minimal indication that environment and sustainability issues feature prominently in his long-term economic plan.

Josh Fothergill, IEMA’s Policy & Engagement Lead said today: "The Chancellor has given us little indication that his vision of the UK’s economic future will be driven by anything other than traditional economic metrics. This is a real disappointment for those businesses wanting to see the Government provide the leadership that will help the UK be a winner in the race to build economic prosperity by resolving long-term sustainability challenges.”

On the Coalition’s progress on environmental tax reforms, Fothergill stated: “Today’s Budget marked a final opportunity for the Coalition to make good on their promise to ‘increase the proportion of tax revenue accounted for by environmental taxes’. Whilst we recognise the Government has technically achieved their ambition – by increasing the proportion of revenue from environmental taxes by 0.3% over this Parliament - this level of progress does not align with the scale of reform required to drive significant change.

Finally, addressing the Chancellor's ambition to see the UK economy built on ‘savings and not debt’, Fothergill says that overall, "the Treasury must redefine that concept of ‘debt’ to consider key environmental and social factors in order to build a truly sustainable economy.

Wednesday 18th March 2015