Friday’s Conservative budget made the party’s position clear: for the failure of the trickle-down economy and to help the already rich get richer.
The cost of living crisis is taking its toll, with skyrocketing energy bills, stagnating wages and the highest inflation in 40 years. Behind these economic buzzwords lie heartbreaking realities and families in every city and town having to make impossible choices this winter.
People are tired of politicians offering band-aids to fix a broken economy. In our constituencies of Doncaster North and Ashton-under-Lyne, we hear the same thing over and over again – that our economy is not working for most working people.
That is why the Labor Party has a vision to radically transform this country. This means not only tackling the cost of living crisis, but ensuring that wealth and power return to the hands of the communities that built this country in the first place.
The decision to decarbonize our economy is an example of the huge opportunities available to us to achieve this. But to make the transition, we need a different approach to the failing economy of the 1980s, which left workers behind and communities devastated. The scars of this period are still visible in the constituencies we represent, but they also leave a legacy of skepticism. It’s understandable skepticism of change until it looks like a real plan for jobs, livelihoods and communities.
Our landmark energy plan announced today by Keir Starmer will turn the tide. A clean energy system by 2030 will lay the groundwork for the transition to zero emissions, but it will also spark waves of dynamism and industry across our country with one million well-paying jobs in the energy industries. renewables and nuclear, relying on strong trade unions.
We have both had the privilege of traveling across the country and meeting workers who are leading the way in the green transition. From wind engineers and hydrogen technicians in Yorkshire, to plumbers and electricians insulating homes in Manchester, to pioneering the electric vehicle revolution in the North East, communities across the country are rolling up their sleeves and are shaping Britain’s green industrial future.
But the bridge between clean energy and a fairer, greener economy will not happen on its own. We will only succeed if the entire machinery of government is geared towards this mission. And it has to start with shopping. Every year, the state spends £379 billion on public contracts. It’s a colossal amount of money that has the potential to be freed up for the public good.
Under our new National Sourcing Plan launched today, we will reward companies that uphold high environmental standards, create local jobs, skills and wealth, treat their workers well, provide access to trade unions and pay their taxes responsibly. We will end the Conservatives’ procurement racket and target public spending on creating jobs and stimulating growth.
Value for money means knowing when and where not to spend. But it also means knowing when and where to invest, in order to avoid much higher costs for future generations. There is no better example of this than in the case of climate breakdown.
Also taking inspiration from Joe Biden’s plans in the United States, we today jointly commit that all national procurement contracts under Labour’s Green Prosperity Plan also support our public value standards. This means that when we invest in our clean energy plan by 2030, the energy companies we work with will treat their workers well, meet the highest standards and create wealth at home.
The first actions of the Liz Truss government signaled more clearly than ever that the fight is on for the future of our country. From fracking to banker bonuses to the highest tax rate, we know where their interests lie. For our public services, our young people, our climate and above all, the plight and livelihoods of working people, it is our duty and our responsibility to end the long years of Conservative government. Labor can and will transform Britain.