Budget fails to address today’s challenges

You might have thought that there was no one left on a trolley in a hospital corridor. That our social care system wasn’t on its knees. That climate change wasn’t a crisis that threatens our very future or that there was no air pollution epidemic linked to the deaths of tens of thousands.

This budget should have been an emergency intervention to end the chaos in health and social care and address the air pollution emergency, but instead it’s another resounding failure from a Government that’s got no ideas beyond an obsession with scaling back the state. With our NHS in peril and social care in crisis, this Budget was a chance for the Government to take a stand for the public services upon which we all rely. Instead they continue to push ahead with planned corporation tax cuts, and their handout to high earners, while unveiling woefully inadequate funding changes for the NHS and social care.

This budget is another climate failure – with the Chancellor failing to mention climate change even once in his speech. Rather than reversing the solar tax hike or ploughing money into renewables, the Government seems hell bent on drilling for more gas and oil in the North Sea, and handing further cash to the motor lobby with the fuel duty freeze. Britain should be leading the world in climate change technology and green jobs, but instead we’re lagging behind and laying the foundations for another dash for gas.

The time is now. Join us to stand for the Common Good.

Save our Oxfam shop

Hereford is about to lose her popular Oxfam shop in Eign Gate because the landlord is asking for a 10 year lease. Oxfam have decided they cannot commit to this. The excellent Broad Street shop is unaffected.

Writing in the Hereford Times, Maggie Setterfield said: “It seems astonishing that a city the size of Hereford should be without a traditional Oxfam shop. Ours is particularly well-run and welcoming with a warm atmosphere, well supported volunteers and pleasant shopping environment. It offers for sale a wide range of ethically produced and enviromentally responsible foods, toiletries, household items etc of which many are just not available elsewhere in Hereford.”

Maggie emphasised the positive trading link with Marks and Spencer, who collect donated items in store. She added: “Oxfam is more than a shop. A visit can help educate us about what is happening in the wider world, with plenty of opportunities to see what benefits our purchases and donations make to real people’s lives, world-wide.”

Any support for the shop would be gratefully received and could encourage Oxfam bosses to reconsider this difficult decision. If you would like to write to Head Office, the address is Supporter Relations, Oxfam House, John Smith Drive, Cowley, Oxford, OX4 2JY or email feedback@oxfam.org.uk or call 0300 200 1333.

Hereford Green Party have contacted Oxfam to offer help in locating alternative premises or asking the landlord to reconsider the demand for a 10 year lease, which is difficult for a charity in the current economic climate.

Rob Hattersley from Hereford Greens added: “It would be a tragedy if this popular local shop were left empty. We think this problem is resolvable with goodwill on both sides. The shop provides affordable goods for hard up families as well as raising funds for those less fortunate than ourselves. It’s also an excellent recycling system, saving council tax payers the cost of filling the ground with our cast-offs.”