Labour’s GB Energy plans will not tackle unfairness, claims Kate Forbes

Labour’s proposals for GB Energy are unclear and will not tackle “unfairness” in the energy market, Kate Forbes has said.

The Deputy First Minister made the comments as she visited Aikengall community wind farm in East Lothian on Tuesday.

Labour has pledged to create a publicly-owned energy company headquartered in Scotland, saying this would deliver 69,000 jobs and make Scotland a global leader in clean energy.

Speaking to journalists at the wind farm, Forbes said GB Energy “seems to be all things to all men and women”.

She added: “We await the details. First it was going to be an energy company, now it’s an investment arm.

“The problem for developers and for government is actually having the clarity on what GB Energy will mean.

“In July this year households in Scotland will be paying £300 – even with the energy price cap – more than they were two years ago.

“We’re surrounded here by the supply and the production of clean, green energy.

“There’s an unfairness there and I don’t see any proposals around GB Energy actually tackling that unfairness.”

Forbes was also asked about the proposed wind farm off the coast of East Lothian called Berwick Bank, which would have up to 307 turbines.

SSE has said it missed a deadline for a UK Government scheme to supply the National Grid due to Scottish ministers not granting approval for Berwick Bank.

The Deputy First Minister said some developers have had positive experiences of the Scottish planning process, adding: “Often the developer will be engaging with all three tiers of government.

“We need to make sure that all three are working together and able to respond to them quickly.”

At the weekend, Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said his opponents are “deliberately confused” about the proposals for GB Energy.

He said: “We will make the investments in the offshore wind, onshore wind, which will be investments, for example, on the turbines.

“Those turbines will generate energy that will produce profits and the fruits of that profit won’t got to Norway, won’t go to Denmark to fund their public services – the fruits of that profit will stay here in Scotland and the UK.”

He said those profits would bring down people’s bills, grow the economy, create jobs and deliver energy security.

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