Rachel Reeves U-Turns On Labour's £28 Billion Green Spending Pledge

The shadow chancellor said she wouldn't be "reckless with the public finances".
Rachel Reeves made the original pledge nearly two years ago.
Rachel Reeves made the original pledge nearly two years ago.
Spencer Platt via Getty Images

Rachel Reeves has watered down Labour’s flagship pledge to spend £28 billion a year on green technology.

In a major U-turn, the shadow chancellor said a Labour government would now aim to hit its target in the second half of the next parliament.

She blamed the damage done to the economy Liz Truss’s mini-budget last autumn for the climbdown.

Reeves said: “I will never be reckless with the public finances.”

Labour first unveiled its plan to borrow £28 billion a year to fund the transition from fossil fuels to green industries in 2021.

At the party’s annual conference that year, Reeves said: ”I can announce today Labour’s climate investment pledge, an additional £28 billion of capital investment in our country’s green transition for each and every year of this decade.

“I will be a responsible chancellor. I will be Britain’s first green chancellor.”

But on Radio Four’s Today programme this morning, the shadow chancellor said Labour’s aim was now to “ramp up” to the £28 billion target, rather than apply it from day one in government.

She said: ”“The truth is I didn’t foresee what the Conservatives would do to our economy – maybe that was foolish of me.”

Tory chairman Greg Hands said: “Keir Starmer’s main economic policy is in tatters, after even he and Rachel Reeves realised it would lead to disaster.

“It doesn’t matter if they try and pretend otherwise Labour’s plan remains to stick £28 billion of borrowing on the government credit card, which will lead to higher inflation and higher interest rates.

“The Conservatives are taking immediate action to fix the problems families are facing, while putting in place the long-term solutions to build a stronger and more innovative economy that will guarantee a better future for the next generation.”


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