UK

Labour backtracks on £28bn green prosperity plan

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer chairs a meeting with shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves where he addressed 22 new local council leaders at the headquarters of the Labour Party in London. Picture date: Tuesday May 9, 2023.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer chairs a meeting with shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves where he addressed 22 new local council leaders at the headquarters of the Labour Party in London. Picture date: Tuesday May 9, 2023.

Labour has backtracked on its £28 billion green prosperity plan, claiming it cannot commit to spending figures until the economic situation it would inherit on winning an election becomes clearer.

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves said the Opposition would not give a “final set of numbers” until a further fiscal statement from the Government.

Ms Reeves told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I will never be reckless with the public finances.”

She added: “The other thing that has happened in last two years is the Tories have crashed our economy, and as a result interest rates have gone up 12 times, inflation is now at 8.7%, and I’ve always said our fiscal rules are non-negotiable.

“Economic stability, financial stability, always has to come first and it will do with Labour.

“That’s why it’s important to ramp up and phase up our plans to get to the investment we need to secure these jobs so that it is also consistent with those fiscal rules to get debt down as a share of GDP and to balance day-to-day spending.”

She clarified that the £28 billion figure previously aimed for by Labour would be a target to work towards rather than the amount initially allocated for the plan in the first year of government, as previously pledged.

Ms Reeves insisted that Ed Miliband, the shadow net zero secretary, was “on the same page” as her.