Brown sees greener Britain rising out of recession

LONDON - Prime Minister Gordon Brown promised on Wednesday to include a raft of environmentally-friendly measures in his government’s upcoming budget to help Britain emerge from the recession stronger and greener.

By (AFP)

Published: Wed 8 Apr 2009, 11:51 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 3:27 AM

In an interview with the Independent, Brown said his finance minister, Alistair Darling, would set a target of 400,000 new jobs in “green industries” over the next five years when he unveils his annual budget on April 22.

“A different type of economy will emerge in the recovery—if we are prepared to invest in the future,” Brown told the newspaper.

The budget—the first since Britain entered recession—would include plans for two or three cities to begin trials with electric cars and see changes to planning rules to allow more wind farms to be built, the paper said.

Brown said Britain could increase its output of environmental goods and services by 50 percent to 1.5 billion pounds (2.2 billion dollars, 1.6 billion euros) in the next few years.

“There is a recognition that if we don’t invest in the future—in areas such as education and the environment—we will not have the future people want to see,” the prime minister said.

The Independent said Brown did not rule out a limited repeat of November’s fiscal stimulus to kick-start the economy—which the governor of the Bank of England has already warned Britain cannot afford—but hinted there might be more tax rises in the medium term to balance the nation’s books.

Brown must call an election by mid-2010, a tough prospect given that his Labour party has been trailing the main opposition Conservatives by up to ten points for months—but he insisted this was not a major concern.

“The only matters that I wake up in the morning thinking about is how we get through this [recession] and build a better future,” he said.

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