Labor would tighten the windfall tax on oil and gas companies and prevent the energy price cap from rising this spring to help millions through the cost-of-living crisis, Rachel Reeves has vowed.
In a keynote speech at the Fabian Society conference, the shadow chancellor unveiled her party’s climate plans, promising they would be “pro-workers, pro-business and pro-climate” while condemning ideologues who believe there is an election between switching to environmental protection and going for growth.
Millions of people face a 40% increase in their energy bills in April if government support becomes less generous, Ms Reeves warned.
We cannot insist on going from crisis to crisis unprepared and finding enormously expensive last-minute solutions to get us through while the underlying problems – those weakened fundamentals – remain untouchedRachel Reeves
“I know that in a week where temperatures drop below zero, many families and pensioners will be acutely concerned about what is happening.
“And at the same time, energy giants continue to make record profits.
“This can not be right…
“We must adhere to this most fundamental principle: that those who have benefited from the windfalls of war should share their share of the burden to lessen the cost to others, lest ordinary people bear the brunt of a crisis that she herself did not cause.”
A Labor government would “extend the windfall tax, close the loophole for fossil fuel investments and tax oil and gas giants at the same rate they are taxed in Norway,” she said.
This would bring in £13billion in 2022 and 2023, savings that would be “immediately passed on to families to keep energy bills down”.
“Our plans will save the typical household £500 on their energy bills from April compared to the Government’s plans by keeping the energy price guarantee at its current level of £2,500 rather than letting it rise to £3,000 in April,” Ms said Reeves said.
In addition to a fuel tax freeze, the shadow chancellor also promised to abolish the premium for prepaid meters and a moratorium on the compulsory installation of such meters.
Ms Reeves also laid out Labour’s long-term strategy to achieve 100% clean energy by 2030 and retrofit millions of homes, a move that could save households £1,400 each year and ‘prevent tomorrow’s crises’.
On climate change, she said: “Whatever ideologues from left and right may tell you, we don’t have to choose between green and growth.
“In the 2020s and 2030s, these two things go hand in hand.
“Well, for some on the right, climate change is nothing more than a cost or even a disadvantage. Some on the left, meanwhile, will argue that the only way to deal with the climate crisis is nothing more than a command economy or the overthrow of capitalism itself.
“And then there are those on the fringes of the green movement who shudder at the mere prospect of economic growth.
“I reject all of these assessments and their ideological dead ends. More innovation, more investment and more business will be key to the green transition.
“We don’t have to choose between letting the planet burn or accepting a future of declining living standards in a poorer country.”
Ms Reeves accused the government of “every time entering a crisis unprepared and finding hugely expensive last-minute solutions to get us through while the underlying problems – those weakened foundations – remain untouched”.
Both Ms Reeves and Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer were at the World Economic Forum in Davos this week, where the party called for a “clean energy alliance” of countries to help bring down energy prices.
Ms Reeves mocked Rishi Sunak for using a jet for domestic travel and was fined for not wearing a seat belt.
“The Prime Minister made clear his deep commitment to net zero this week when he decided to fly from Teesside to Blackpool on an RAF jet.
“Now I understand that the flight attendants had to do the seat belt demonstration several times before the Prime Minister finally got it.”
https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/uk/labour-would-extend-windfall-tax-to-prevent-rising-bills-in-april-reeves-42304378.html Labor would extend windfall tax to stave off rising bills in April – Reeves