The coming election will be a once-in-a-generation choice: between five more years of economic failure or a long-term plan to invest in Britain’s future. At the beginning of a new age of economic and technological change, we have the chance to seize these historic opportunities so we can once again be a thriving, prosperous nation.
We are under no illusion about the scale of the challenge facing us. Taxes are at a 70-year high, our public services are on their knees, the national debt is continuing to rise, and the cost of living crisis is still biting for families across our country. These are not signs of a successful economy. They are the symptoms of 14 years of economic failure and a Britain that is worse off.
If Labour wins the next election, then as prime minister and chancellor it will be our shared responsibility to turn the country’s back on years of Conservative decline. Together, we have changed the Labour party so we can change our country for the better. We are determined to deliver that change – and we have a plan to make it happen.
It starts with fixing our broken economy. We have made growing the economy the number one mission of the next Labour government. That commitment is unwavering, and guides all the decisions we will take together. We cannot properly fund our public services and put more money in people’s pockets without economic growth, and we cannot grow our economy without investing in Britain’s future.
That is why our green prosperity plan remains central in our mission to grow the economy and deliver clean power by 2030, and will be a central plank of our manifesto. It will lead to tens of billions of pounds of private sector investment in green hydrogen, carbon capture, clean steel, renewable-ready ports and gigafactories unlocked through a new national wealth fund that will create half a million good, well-paid jobs. By insulating 5m homes, we’ll cut up to £500 from household energy bills. And today we can confirm the funding for Great British Energy, a new publicly owned champion in clean energy generation, that will deliver long-term energy security from foreign dictators by investing in floating offshore wind, nuclear and tidal.
The plan will be funded through a proper windfall tax on oil and gas giants, and – like responsible governments and successful businesses around the world – through borrowing to invest so we can invest to grow. The plan we are announcing is right for our economy and our environment. It is consistent with our fiscal rules, including to get debt down as a share of GDP, and our mission to deliver clean power by 2030. But in the two years or so since we first announced the green prosperity plan, the circumstances have changed.
None of us could have predicted the damage the Conservatives would do when they crashed the economy. The aftershocks of the disastrous mini-budget are still being felt. Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt have not learned from those mistakes. They are promising to “max out” the country’s credit card for short-term political gain. That is today’s Conservative party: reckless, irresponsible and without a plan.
It is not the inheritance we would have chosen, but it is the inheritance we will face if we are elected. It means we will not be able to announce additional investments under the green prosperity plan. We will still be able to double the investment into warm homes, but this is slower than we had originally hoped. And we will not reach £28bn a year during the next parliament. The Conservatives are willing to lie about the damage they have done, but we are not. Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt are willing to put our country’s future at risk; we are not.
The circumstances have changed, but our ambitions for Britain have not. There is a global race taking place and we want Britain to be leading it. If we have a chance to serve, then the plans we have laid out with Ed Miliband will be truly transformational. They will create more jobs, cheaper bills, and face down the existential threat of the climate emergency. They will create a skills revolution and ensure Britain is building again. They will secure the economy and get the NHS working again, and lead to safer streets and better schools. This is an opportunity to end the decline and despair, and to give Britain its future back.
Do you have an opinion on the issues raised in this article? If you would like to submit a response of up to 300 words by email to be considered for publication in our letters section, please click here.