Labour's net zero black hole? Tories accuse Starmer of £4.5bn budget shortfall as tax hikes loom

16 June 2024, 23:54

Conservatives have accused Keir Starmer of creating a £4.5billion tax black hole, casting doubt over their net zero spending plans.
Conservatives have accused Keir Starmer of creating a £4.5billion tax black hole, casting doubt over their net zero spending plans. Picture: Alamy

By Danielle de Wolfe

Conservatives have accused Keir Starmer of creating a £4.5billion tax black hole, casting doubt over their net zero spending plans.

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The Tory Energy Secretary has warned that Labour's ban on North Sea oil and gas will result in huge tax hikes for working people.

Analysis from the party has revealed a sizeable budget black hole in lost tax revenues, with tax rises required to cover the shortfall, according to Claire Coutinho.

She's accused Labour of taking Britain "back to the dark ages," a warning that coincides with the publication of the Conservatives 'Energy Security' plan - one Coutinho says will "safeguarding Britain’s energy security" for future generations.

It follows comments from Wes Streeting on Sunday that Labour's manifesto is not the "sum total" of its spending plans ahead of the General Election.

The shadow health secretary was forced to clarify that Labour's document does not account for all his party's plans to spend billions on public services, such as the NHS, if elected.

Analysis from the party has revealed a sizeable budget black hole in lost tax revenues, with tax rises required to cover the shortfall, according to Claire Coutinho.
Analysis from the party has revealed a sizeable budget black hole in lost tax revenues, with tax rises required to cover the shortfall, according to Claire Coutinho. Picture: Alamy

Labour's manifesto pledge aimed to block the exploration of new oil and gas fields in the North Sea because it would “accelerate the worsening climate crisis”.

Speaking on the pledges, Coutinho labelled Labour's spending plans "reckless", describing the policies as "a triple whammy on the UK; jobs lost, higher taxes and investment destroyed."

The party warned it could also put 200,000 highly paid jobs at risk.

“While Labour’s energy policy is light on detail, the one thing we know for sure is that it risks turning out the lights and hiking your taxes to pay for it," she said.

“The Conservatives are the only party with a clear plan to protect our nation’s energy security and drive down energy bills for you and your family.”

Read more: Wes Streeting urges doctors not to strike amid claims manifesto is not the ‘sum total’ of Labour's NHS spending

Read more: Rishi Sunak says 'Hindu faith and duty' guide him as PM, and insists he is patriotic despite Nigel Farage's attacks

Labour's manifesto pledge aimed to block the exploration of new oil and gas fields in the North Sea because it would “accelerate the worsening climate crisis”.
Labour's manifesto pledge aimed to block the exploration of new oil and gas fields in the North Sea because it would “accelerate the worsening climate crisis”. Picture: Alamy

It comes as Rachel Reeves vowed to "make Britain better off" as part of Labour's latest Manifesto pledge on Monday, as she promised to create 650,000 new jobs across the UK in a bid to revitalise the economy.

The Shadow Chancellor is expected to pledge a £7.3 billion investment in a new National Wealth Fund to create hundreds of thousands of "good, well-paying jobs" in Britain’s industrial heartlands.

It forms part of Labour’s Green Prosperity Plan, a move that aims to draw investment back to Britain.

Rachel Reeves outlines Labour plans to create 650,000 new jobs to ‘make Britain better off’
Rachel Reeves outlines Labour plans to create 650,000 new jobs to ‘make Britain better off’. Picture: Alamy

Speaking on the plans, the Labour parliamentary candidate said that the party's growth plans are "about making Britain better off," ensuring "good jobs paying a decent wage being created right across the United Kingdom."

“The election on 4 July is a chance to deliver on that plan and to turn our economy around after 14 years of Conservative decline," she continued.

“This election is about change: stability with a changed Labour Party that will make you better off or five more years of chaos from the Conservatives that will mean £4,800 more on your mortgage.”

It comes just days after Penny Mordaunt, leader of the House of Commons, revealed that cutting wasteful government spending is the only way to grow Britain's economy in a leaked recording.

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