An extra £28 billion would be spent each year on helping Britain tackle the climate change crisis under a Labour government, the shadow chancellor has pledged.
Rachel Reeves said she wanted to become Britain’s “first green chancellor” as she outlined proposals for a massive investment in shifting the country to greener technology.
Reeves explained the money would be for capital projects and run until the end of the decade.
In a speech laden with soundbites aimed at boosting Labour’s economic credibility, Reeves also said the party would set up a team to go through “every line of every failed contract where value was not delivered” during the Covid-19 pandemic.
She said the aim would be to “claw back every penny of taxpayers’ money we possibly can” after accusing the Conservatives of presiding over an “outsourcing bonanza”.
Reeves confirmed she would freeze business rates next year if she was in No 11 while also offering a cut for small firms, paid for by hiking digital taxes.
She committed the next Labour government to abolishing business rates, using the proceeds of a global deal on taxing multinational firms.
A “laser focus” on efficiency in the tax system was also promised, with tax breaks not delivering for the economy or taxpayer scrapped.
Speaking in Brighton, Reeves told delegates: “I will invest in good jobs in the green industries of the future; giga-factories to build batteries for electric vehicles; a thriving hydrogen industry; offshore wind with turbines made in Britain; planting trees and building flood defences; keeping homes warm and getting energy bills down; good new jobs in communities throughout Britain.
“In other words: protecting and strengthening our everyday economy. And to make this a reality, to unlock that potential, and protect our planet for future generations.”
She added: “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.”
Reeves’s pledges came as Labour seeks to get its conference in Brighton back on track following internal rows over party rules, criticism of Keir Starmer after he ruled out nationalising energy giants and the fallout from Angela Rayner’s attack on the “scum” in Boris Johnson’s Cabinet.