Labour pledges new ‘wealth fund’ to give taxpayers stake in green British industries

A Labour government would give taxpayers a stake in British industry with the creation of a national wealth fund that would invest billions of pounds in green businesses over the next decade, the party says.

The money created would be ploughed back into local areas, Rachel Reeves will pledge in a speech to the Labour conference in Liverpool.

As well as providing skilled jobs, she promised “wealth that will flow back into your community and onto your high street. Wealth that the British people will own a stake in”.

Labour also accused the Conservatives of letting good jobs go overseas during its 12 years in power.

The plans will be modelled on schemes in use in countries such as Norway and France.

The fund is part of what Labour says is its mission to “build British industry”. The money would be invested in industries from battery factories to clean steel plants.

The cash will come from the party’s Green Prosperity Plan, which it announced this time last year. An initial £8bn over the next decade will be put into a pot to invest in British industry. But decisions on day-to-day investment would be made by a new separate body, and not controlled by ministers.

Labour suggested that projects that could be financed include eight new battery factories, six clean steel plants, nine renewable-ready ports, the world’s largest hydrogen electrolyser plant and net-zero industrial clusters in every part of the country.

Ms Reeves will say in Liverpool: “What you will see in your town, in your city, under Labour is a sight we have not seen often enough in our country: cranes going up, shovels in the ground. The sounds and sights of the future arriving. Secure, skilled jobs for plumbers, electricians and joiners for designers, scientists and engineers.”

She will add: “Wealth that will flow back into your community and onto your high street. Wealth that the British people will own a stake in. Wealth that is invested in our country’s future.”

The proposal was a “real plan” for growth, she will say, in a reference to the government’s tax-cutting mini-Budget last week, which ministers have said is designed to stimulate the economy.

“A zero carbon economy – made right here … made in Britain,” she will add.

Shadow climate change secretary Ed Miliband will accuse the Conservatives of letting “good jobs go overseas, and watched our industries lose out as other countries get ahead in the global race”.

He will add: “We say no more. Labour’s national wealth fund is based on a simple idea: that it is time to invest and build the wealth for this country, so we can lead the world in industries such as hydrogen, electric vehicles, green steel and offshore wind.”

“This is about good jobs that pay well, with strong trade unions, and with money that flows back into the pockets of the British people. ”