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Keir Starmer unveils green growth plan to counter Liz Truss tax cuts | labor conference

Keir Starmer will pledge to deliver a new era of economic growth and permanently lower energy bills by transforming the UK into an independent green ‘superpower’ by 2030, through a massive expansion of wind power and solar.

Announce plan details exclusively to Observerthe Labor leader said he would double the amount of onshore wind power, triple solar and more than quadruple offshore wind power, ‘re-industrialise’ the country to create a net zero carbon self-sufficient electricity system, by the end of this decade.

Starmer says the move – far more ambitious than any green policy put forward by the Tories and the most ambitious of its leaders to date – would free the British people from the mercy of ‘dictators’ such as Russian President Vladimir Putin over government bills. ‘energy.

It would also, he says, cut hundreds of pounds off annual household energy bills ‘for good’, create up to half a million jobs in the UK and make the country the first to have a zero-emission electrical system.

Labour’s new approach is being unveiled as the government’s plan to boost economic growth through a sweeping program of tax cuts – announced by Kwasi Kwarteng, the new chancellor, on Friday – comes under growing criticism.

Leading think tanks and economists yesterday said the Tory plan would mainly help the wealthy and benefit the most prosperous south of England, rather than providing aid to struggling households and parts of the country the most deprived. It also spooked the financial markets.

In the hours after Kwarteng addressed MPs in the Commons, the pound fell more than 3% against the dollar to levels last seen 37 years ago and the cost of government borrowing suffered its largest one-day rise since 1991.

Those early reactions fueled fears of further carnage when markets reopen on Monday. Some economists believe the Bank of England may be forced to hold an emergency meeting to consider further interest rate hikes to avoid a rout.

Former Bank policymaker Martin Weale said markets were “frightened” by the unfunded tax cuts injected into the economy at a time of high inflation. “It is difficult to see this policy [of tax cuts] ending happily. He added: “I expect the pound to continue falling next week, and if that is the case the Bank of England may have to step in with even higher interest rates. “

Starmer clarified that his alternative approach to boosting growth involves tackling three crises together – the climate, the cost of living and the broader economy.

Party aides said history shows Labor was at its best and most successful when it captured a sense of ‘modernity and the future’, such as in 1964 when Harold Wilson became Prime Minister with the vision of creating a new Britain in the “white heat” of “scientific revolution”.

Starmer said that while the Tories indulged in ‘casino economics’ and ‘gambled the mortgages and finances of every family in the country’, Labor sought to create a secure future for all, both economically and face to climate change.

Keir Starmer arriving at the party conference in Liverpool.
Keir Starmer arriving at the party conference in Liverpool. Photography: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images

“The British people are fed up with skyrocketing energy bills and our energy system exposed to dictators,” Starmer said ahead of Labour’s annual conference which opens in Liverpool on Sunday.

“They want long-term solutions to reduce bills for good. A central mission of my government will be to transform the UK into a clean energy superpower.

“This is a plan that will create jobs, tackle the cost of living and protect our homes for future generations by tackling the climate crisis.”

Starmer, along with Ed Miliband, the shadow secretary of state for climate change, have been working on what they call their green prosperity plan for months.

The basic idea is to build a self-sufficient electricity system entirely powered by inexpensive local renewable and nuclear energy by the end of the decade. This, they say, would also enable the country to become a major energy exporter.

In the interview, Starmer said the arrival of Liz Truss as Prime Minister had created a clearer ideological divide between the Tories and Labour, which was evident in the way the two party leaders approached challenges. related to the cost of living and energy prices.

There was, Starmer said, “a big divide on the economy and who is growing the economy.”

While Labor wants to create growth by putting workers at the heart of a green economic revolution, he said Truss wants her tax cuts to benefit “those at the top, so she wants an economy of trickle down, to make the rich richer, to give them tax cuts. So there’s a huge ideological divide there.

The Labor leader added that his party could now fight the upcoming election on issues outside of its traditional “comfort zones” such as the NHS. He was now able to present a more credible argument to the electorate than the Conservatives on economic policy as a whole.

Starmer said following the new government’s mini-budget on Friday it was clear that ‘the roles are reversed’ and Labor is now the party of ‘fiscal responsibility’.

The latest Opinium poll for the Observer today, taken mostly before the chancellor’s tax cut announcements and the first since Truss entered No 10, shows no boost to the Tories from the change in leader and prime minister.

It shows Labor leading by 5 points (up 1 point from three weeks ago) at 39% while the Conservatives are unchanged at 34%.

Commenting on Labour’s energy plan, Greenpeace UK policy officer Rebecca Newsom said: “The only way out of this mess is on a whirlwind mission to deploy a renewable energy-based energy system that can cut bills, reduce emissions, create jobs and break our dependence on gas markets and fossil fuel autocrats.

“Labour seems to have understood that, the Tories not.”

theguardian Gt

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