Sir Keir Starmer has unveiled a plan to counter the Tory government’s tax-cutting agenda and slash greenhouse gas emissions.
The Labour leader pledged to double the amount of onshore wind, triple solar power and more than quadruple offshore wind energy production by 2030 as part of a green energy revolution to counter the “trickle down” finance policies set out by Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng this week.
The creation of a net-zero carbon, self-sufficient electricity network would lead to permanently lower energy bills and independence from nations such as Russia, according to Labour.
According to details unveiled in The Observer, the move could also create half a million jobs and make the UK the first country to have a zero-emission power system.
It would, Sir Keir says, cut hundreds of pounds off annual household energy bills “for good” and free British people from the yoke of “dictators” such as Russian president Vladimir Putin over energy prices.
In a speech to activists, Sir Keir said the chancellor’s admission of Tory economic failure would be hung “around their necks” in the next election campaign.
He said: “There's a change in the air. There’s an atmosphere, there’s a sense that Labour is ready to deliver.”
“And don't we need change after 12 years of this shower, 12 years of failure under this government, wages stagnant for 10 years, public services on their knees.”
It is already clear that the chancellor’s mini-Budget on Friday will set the dividing lines for the next general election, with Sir Keir telling Labour supporters: “I didn’t agree with almost anything he said in that financial statement yesterday apart from his opening sentence when he said there’s a ‘vicious cycle of stagnation’.
“He’s right about that and it’s their vicious cycle of stagnation. That is the verdict on 12 years of Tory government, a vicious cycle of stagnation and we need to hang that around their necks.”
He said the government’s “driving ideology” was now to “make the rich richer and do nothing for working people”.
“If you earn a million pounds, yesterday, you got a £55,000 pounds tax cut, enough to pay for a nurse,” he said.
He added: “It’s not trickle down, it’s taking the piss.”
Labour has also warned that Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-Budget will hand lucrative business tax breaks to “affluent” Tory areas, swiping badly needed funds from areas in greater need.
Some wealthier counties, including those that contain the seats of Liz Truss and her deputy, are earmarked for “investment zones”, where billions will be handed to businesses to encourage them to invest and grow.
But Labour has questioned how the list of proposed zones – for a policy described as “levelling up in action” by one cabinet minister – has been drawn up.
The investment zones have already been dismissed as a reheating of George Osborne’s “enterprise zones”, a failed policy that ended up creating few new jobs over the past decade. Analysis by the Centre for Cities think tank of the Osborne-era zones found that they had created fewer than 14,000 jobs – not the 54,000 forecast – of which more than a third had been displaced from elsewhere.