Labour's green pledge delayed due to 'mess' Tories made of the economy, Rachel Reeves tells LBC

13 June 2023, 18:03 | Updated: 13 June 2023, 19:15

Rachel Reeves says the 'mess' the Tories made of the economy has delayed Labour's green pledge

By Anna Fox

The Shadow Chancellor said the "turbulence and chaos" inflicted upon the UK economy by the Tories meant she is forced to scale back plans to shift to net zero.

LBC caller Hassan began by questioning the shadow chancellor on Labour's "race to save the planet", stating "How is it a priority when there is a four-year delay?"

The shadow chancellor began by telling Tom Swarbrick that Labour's first mission is to “grow the economy”.

Rachel Reeves continued, saying: “The mission we will be launching in the next few days and weeks is our clean energy mission”.

Detailing the plans, Ms Reeves said: “It’s about having lower bills and good jobs in some of the industries of the future”.

Tom Swarbrick highlighted Sir Keir Starmer’s comments on the “climate emergency” to which the Shadow Chancellor replied saying: “Any plans have got to rest on those pillars of economic and fiscal stability”.

Condemning the Tories for being “fast and loose with public finances” last year, Rachel Reeves promised she would “never do that”.

She noted the consequences of the Conservative's actions, stating: “The cost of living goes up for ordinary people.

“Private sector money goes out of the UK because of all of the turbulence and chaos”.

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The Shadow Chancellor announced Labour would “ramp up” their green prosperity plan “over time”, to which Tom questioned, “Later than planned?”

Rachel reacted by exclaiming: “I’ve got to be honest, it’s because of the mess the Tories have made of the economy.”

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Continuing Ms Reeves said: “The fiscal rules are non-negotiable, and that is to get that debt down as a share of the economy, to pay for day-to-day spending through tax receipts.

“Then subject to that, invest in the things that are going to boost our growth, our prosperity and opportunities for the future”.

Their conversation follows news that the Labour Party reduced its flagship £28bn green prosperity plan, blaming rising interest rates and the "damage" the Conservatives have done to the economy.

The party initially had pledged to invest £28bn per year to accelerate the shift towards net zero emissions by 2050, but Ms Reeves said the economic situation had changed since she first made the promise.

The announcement comes after The Times said Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer was under pressure to ditch the plan as the party also faced criticism for a proposal to ban new oil and gas developments in the North Sea.

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