THE Budget was the focus in Westminster last week. Aspects were welcome but it’s the totality of it upon which it’s judged.

Ending higher charges for pre-payment meters is to be welcomed. But why the delay? All that was required was the stroke of a ministerial pen and yet many have been left to suffer a cruel winter with fuel poverty stalking them.

There was support for new technologies but nothing for green hydrogen or longer-duration battery storage. When over 17 per cent of wind turbine capacity is curtailed, not through the wind not blowing but because the national grid cannot cope, action is needed. Storing that surplus energy and establishing hydrogen plants is the solution which offers huge opportunities for work and business in East Lothian.

Whilst addressing pension concerns of senior medical consultants was long overdue, the fuelling of a cash bonanza for the already super rich was just plain wrong, worsened by proposals that will be harsh on those not working through ill health or disability.

What wasn’t announced was more telling. There was no action to address unregulated fuel or those living off the gas grid. Whether heating oil in rural parts or expensive all-electric systems in high-rise blocks, an injustice remains. Regulation and the extension of the alternative fuel payment should have been done.

Many on universal credit remain unable to provide basic essentials for them and their families. The need for a guaranteed minimal income which can keep body and soul together is still missing, leaving many facing penury, hunger and cold.

The Budget is symptomatic of what’s happening globally. I chaired a meeting for the Trade Justice Movement where it’s clear that the UK must leave the Energy Treaty Charter which allows for corporates and oligarchs to sue governments for simply taking steps to protect their people and environment. We need a fairer world as well as society.