How Labour ditched its flagship £28bn green investment pledge | Labour

Labor has abandoned its promise to spend £28 billion a year on green investment, accusing the Tories of “destroying the economy”.

The policy, the main component of Labour's green prosperity plan, has been at the center of a public and private struggle since its announcement, with factions within the party opposing attempts to water it down.

The plan has now been significantly reduced to less than £15 billion a year, of which only a third – just over £4.7 billion a year – would be new money. Below are some of the key moments that led to this point.

September 27, 2021

Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves pledges to become the UK's first 'Green Chancellor' and invest £28 billion a year for the rest of the decade, to applause from Labor members at Labor conference gone to Brighton.

September 23, 2022

Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng's disastrous mini-budget led to what was later estimated to be a £30 billion fiscal black hole, paving the way for a recalibration of Labour's own spending plans and commitments.

June 9, 2023

Labor is scaling back plans to borrow £28 billion a year to invest in green jobs and industry. Citing poor economic conditions and rising interest rates since the Truss mini-budget, Reeves is delaying the launch of the proposed Green Prosperity Fund into the first year of a Labor government.


Discussions within Labor over cutting the £28bn plans are growing amid fears the Conservatives will use the policy as a central line of attack in the general election campaign.

But sources also express concerns about how a Labor government would improve economic growth without the green plan, and whether it could expose Keir Starmer to accusations of “flip-flopping” from the Tories.

January 31, 2024

Leading economists and economic experts are increasingly opposing plans to water down the commitment. Jürgen Maier, former UK director of Siemens and Labor adviser on transport and infrastructure, describes £28 billion a year as an “absolute minimum”.

February 1, 2024

The Guardian reveals that the £28bn-a-year commitment is to be scrapped. She was asked 10 times on Sky News if she supported the target, Reeves refuses to use the number at allsaying instead: “The importance of economic and fiscal stability…will always come first.” »

Jonathan Reynolds, the shadow business secretary, says the figure remains an ambition but it is unclear “whether we can achieve it”. Darren Jones, the shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, confirmed virtually a day later that the pledge was being kept.

February 6

Starmer said in an interview with Times Radio that the pledge to spend £28 billion a year was “desperately needed”, as he reopens the subject and his supporters see his comments as a recommitment. Labor leader Chris Bryant said a day later: “Of the £28 billion, we are not cutting it. We intend to achieve this.

February 7

Bryant, the shadow culture minister, said in a morning interview that Labor would spend £28 billion. Hours later, after Prime Minister's Questions in Parliament, a Labor spokesperson told reporters that the party had committed to “£28 billion, subject to the budget rules and what the government leave it on the table.”

February 8

Labor confirms the party does not now believe it can meet the £28bn-a-year commitment in its green prosperity plan, accusing the Tories of 'collapse' the economy and what it described as the government's plan to “maximize the economy”. credit card of the country.

Instead, Labor is “reconfirming” its commitment to the plan’s policies to create jobs and cut bills.

It says these policies would represent £23.7 billion of investment over the next parliamentary term, funded largely by a windfall tax on oil and gas companies, with the rest coming from borrowing under its rules budgetary.

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