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This week, Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, gave his first speech as he warned of a “significant” but temporary disruption to the UK economy but vowed that the UK will get through the problems together.”*

Mr Sunak, who was promoted to chancellor just four weeks ago following Sajid Javid shock exit from the government, has had to hastily re-write the government’s financial plans to deal with coronavirus.

Within his budget he unveiled a £30bn package to boost the economy and get the country through the coronavirus outbreak, £12bn will be specifically targeted at coronavirus measures. Plus an additional £5bn for the NHS and £7bn for business and workers.

What is the Budget?

The Budget is a statement made to the House of Commons by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the nation’s finances and the Government’s proposals for changes to taxation. The Budget also includes forecasts for the economy by the Office for Budget Responsibility.

What are the key environmental points from this year’s budget:

  • In total, around £640 billion of gross capital investment will be provided for roads, railways, communications, schools, hospitals and power networks across the UK by 2024-25.
  • Road transport is responsible for 91% of domestic transport emissions, and around a fifth of overall UK emissions. To support drivers to move away from polluting vehicles, the Budget announces investment in electric vehicle charging infrastructure, which will ensure that drivers are never more than 30 miles from a rapid charging station. Additionally it provides £532 million for consumer incentives for ultra-low emission vehicles, and reduces taxes on zero emission vehicles.
  • In addition, the government will promote air quality improvement by removing the entitlement to use red diesel except for agriculture, fish farming, rail and non-commercial heating. The government will tackle air pollution by providing £304 million to help local authorities reduce nitrogen dioxide emissions and improve air quality.
  • Over the next 5 years, the government will plant around 30,000 hectares of trees, plus restoring 35,000 hectares of peatland and providing more funding to protect the UK’s unique plants and animals.
  • £500m to help support the rollout of new rapid charging hubs, enabling electric drivers to always be within 30 miles of being able to charge their vehicles.
  • The government will also go further to tackle the scourge of plastic waste by introducing a Plastic Packaging Tax, as well as providing further funding to encourage producers to make their packaging more recyclable.
  • The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) has been extended to the 31st March 2022, maintaining support for heat pumps, biomass and solar thermal.

In 2019-2020 the government spent 2.1 billion on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. With the new plans in place it is expected that the government will spend over 3.9 billion over the next 12 months. **

What can we say? We are glad that the RHI has been extended for an additional 12 months, this in itself will assist self builders and those homeowners looking to retrofit properties next year. Could they have done more? Certainly, however with the global Corona Virus pandemic  currently affecting the globe, this is a strong show for the Renewable industry, once the pandemic is over, we will hope to look for an even bigger push for renewables in the autumn statement.

Hero Renewables are a national, award winning company enabling communities and business to aid the UK’s transition to a green economy. Sharing our expert knowledge and renewable systems with you, ensuring your home or business stays warm, cosy and energy efficient with renewable energy.

Give our expert team a call today on 0808 222 0 111, to find your homes perfect renewable match and start receiving your government incentive.

*https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-51835306

** https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/budget-2020-documents/budget-2020

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