THE TREASURY’S Spending Review process is to be audited by the National Audit Office for its environmental impact.
The NAO will, for the first time, assess whether the review process acts as an effective medium-term spending and planning tool in relation to the government’s environmental protection and sustainable development objectives.
The NAO’s work will, for example, analyse whether the chancellor has considered the environmental risks or impacts and legal commitments alongside the economic and social risks and impacts.
“We have asked the NAO to assess whether the Spending Review process is informed by the best available evidence on the environmental impact of government policies and fully takes into account the UK’s legal commitments on air quality, biodiversity and climate change,” said Environmental Audit Committee chair, Huw Irranca-Davies.
The government has already come under fire for slashing a number of incentives for renewable energy. The UK has also failed to meet EU limits on air quality.
The spending review will be published on November 25th. The chancellor, George Osborne – a man not known for his green credentials – has to find £20 billion of cuts if he is to eliminate Britain’s deficit by 2019/2020.