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Labour denies Starmer pushing to water down £28bn green plans

25 Nov 2023 2 minute read
Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves. Pic: Dominic Lipinski PA

Labour has strongly denied reports that Sir Keir Starmer could water down the party’s pledge to spend £28 billion-a-year on green initiatives.

Both the BBC and the Telegraph reported that the plan could be scaled back again as Labour instead focuses on meeting the party’s fiscal rules.

Labour had originally promised in 2021 to invest £28 billion-a-year until 2030 in green projects if it came to power. But in June shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves said the figure would instead be a target to work towards in the second half of a first parliament.

The BBC said that a senior source in Sir Keir Starmer’s office suggested the £28 billion figure may not be reached at all due to the current state of the public finances.

A source also told the Telegraph that fulfilling Labour’s fiscal rules was more important than meeting that pledge, with the paper reporting that aides to Sir Keir have asked Ms Reeves to scale back the fund.

Categorically untrue

A Labour Party spokesperson said it was “categorically untrue” that Sir Keir had asked for the plans to be “watered down”.

The spokesperson said all policies would be subject to Labour’s fiscal rules but the position on the green prosperity plan remained “unchanged”.

The party’s rules include paying for day-to-day expenditure through tax receipts and getting debt down as a share of the economy.

“Labour will ramp up investment in jobs and energy independence through our green prosperity plan to a total of £28 billion a year as planned in the second half of the parliament,” the spokesperson said.

Extra borrowing

The Tories have latched onto the policy to attack Labour’s fiscal credibility, attacking the idea of the extra borrowing needed to fund the pledge.

The reports had prompted concern from climate campaigners.

Hannah Martin, co-director of the Green New Deal Rising campaign group, warned on Saturday any such move would be a “disaster”.

It comes after Jeremy Hunt’s autumn statement offered significant tax cuts, but pencilled in steep curbs in public spending beyond the next general election.

Sir Keir has already acknowledged that his party will face “tough choices” if it wins the next general election.

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7 months ago

When you first thought yo were taking over a prime country house you are all happy and have great plans. Closer to the deal closure it looks like the place is a tip and the roof leaks, the staff have legged it with the silver and previous owners have hocked the property to the eyeballs. Tory party look to try to bake in failure. And people will still vote for them

Elen Wade
Elen Wade
7 months ago

When steam power arrived, it took over. When internal combustion engines arrived, they took over. When gas/oil fired central heating arrived, it replaced coal grates and smog. And so on. The reason why these things happened is because each example improved lives, commerce and made running costs within reach of the vast majority of people. Their efficacy has stood the test of time for over 100 years. What’s being proposed now is not a step forward in any way, be it efficacy or cost. The pushers of this nonsense have to heavily subsidise and lie about their “solutions” to reduce… Read more »

Richard Davies
Richard Davies
7 months ago
Reply to  Elen Wade

Are you aware that electric powered cars existed before cars internal combustion engines. It was only because of lobbying by those in the oil industry pushed governments to back the combustion engine that electric cars were dormant for over a century. Just think where the technology could have been if this hadn’t been the case.

There are othe greenhouse gases, such as methane, but that is in addition to CO2 – which IS a problem, the science is clear. The only liars are those that don’t believe in climate change!

7 months ago
Reply to  Elen Wade

Problem is, what you don’t see is the short term improvement is ruining the planet. A different direction is urgently needed.
Planet will survive, if the Permian extinction event is any guide, we wont be around to see what evolves when we are wiped out. Which sorta make our choices now very urgent.
But when a government ruins the economy so much that the new incoming government cannot even attempt to get on to p of it, that seems wilful and reckless and should bar them from power for ever.

Richard Davies
Richard Davies
7 months ago

From the moment he became leader of labour, Mr keir starmer has lied and rolled back on pledges he made before his leadership election.

I want to see a labour government but I don’t trust starmer and I never will!

Incidentally, I don’t understand why the tories are regarded as being more fiscally responsible than labour because ONS records show labour has always reduced debt and deficit when they have been in power. It is the tories that are reckless increasing debt and deficit, usually with nothing to show for it!

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