Labour will bring green jobs built on strong trade unions – because we cannot go back to the 1980s | Angela Rayner and Ed Miliband
The Tory budget on Friday made clear where the party stands: for failed trickle-down economics and for helping the already wealthy get richer.
The cost of living crisis is wreaking havoc, with spiralling energy bills, stagnating wages, and the highest inflation in 40 years. Behind these economic buzzwords are harrowing realities, and families in every city and town having to make impossible choices this winter.
People are sick of politicians offering sticking plasters to patch up a broken economy. In our constituencies of Doncaster North and Ashton-under-Lyne, we hear the same thing time and again – that our economy doesn’t work for most working people.
That is why the Labour party has a vision to radically transform this country. That means not just addressing the cost of living crisis, but ensuring wealth and power go back into the hands of the communities that built this country in the first place.
The move to decarbonise our economy is one example of the huge opportunities we have to achieve this. But to make the transition we need a different approach to the failed economics of the 1980s, which left workers behind, and communities devastated. The scars of that period are still there to see in the constituencies we represent, but they also leave a legacy of scepticism. It’s an understandable scepticism of change until it looks like a real plan for jobs, livelihoods and communities.
Our world-leading energy plan announced today by Keir Starmer will turn this around. A clean power system by 2030 will lay the foundations of the drive to net zero, but it will also unleash waves of dynamism and industry across our country with a million well-paid jobs in the renewable and nuclear industries, built on strong trade unions.
We’ve both had the privilege to travel across the country and meet workers who are leading the way on the green transition. From wind engineers and hydrogen technicians in Yorkshire, to plumbers and electricians insulating homes in Manchester, to the pioneers of the electric vehicle revolution in the north-east, communities across the country are rolling up their sleeves and forging Britain’s green industrial future.
But the bridge from clean power to a fairer and greener economy won’t happen by itself. We are only going to achieve it if the entire government machinery is directed to this mission. And this must start with procurement. Annually, the state spends £379bn every year on public contracts. That’s a colossal amount of money with the potential to be unleashed for the public good.
Under our new national procurement plan launched today, we will reward those businesses and enterprises that uphold high environmental standards, create local jobs, skills and wealth, treat their workers well, provide access to unions and pay their taxes responsibly. We’ll end the Tories’ procurement racket – and target public spending at creating jobs and boosting growth.
Value for money means knowing when and where not to spend. But it also means knowing when and where to invest – to prevent far greater costs to future generations further down the line. There is no better example of this than in the case of climate breakdown.
Learning also from Joe Biden’s plans in the US, today we’re making a joint commitment that all national public procurement contracts within Labour’s Green Prosperity Plan will also support our public value standards. This means that when we invest in our clean power by 2030 plan, energy companies we work with will treat their workers properly, and uphold the highest standards and value creating wealth at home.
The early actions of Liz Truss’s government have signalled more clearly than ever that the fight is on for the future of our country. From fracking to bankers’ bonuses to the top rate of tax, we know where their interests lie. For our public services, our young people, our climate and above all, the fates and livelihoods of working people, it is our duty and responsibility to bring the long years of Tory government to an end. Labour can and will transform Britain.