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The Economy

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:41 pm on 24th October 2019.

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Photo of Peter Dowd Peter Dowd Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury 4:41 pm, 24th October 2019

I am sorry, but I will not at this stage.

Labour is offering a national transformation fund and a national investment bank that would invest £500 billion of lending and spending over 10 years, with tackling climate change as a central mission—a concept alien to that lot over there. It will include targeted investment to develop and commercialise new technologies so that they are designed here, assembled here, installed by a well-paid unionised workforce here, and then exported to the rest of the world. It is a far-reaching programme of economic revival that will create the industries of the future here. This is a Government of yesterday. We are the Government of tomorrow.

With its wind and marine resources, the UK has some of the best potential in the world for renewable energy. Renewable energy should be to the UK what tech has been to California, but the Government’s failure to support these nascent industries has held us back. We should be building on our existing strengths, such as the automotive sector, which could, with the right support, lead the world in electric vehicle and battery production. At the Labour party conference, my hon. Friend Rebecca Long Bailey, the shadow Business Secretary, announced a multibillion-pound package of investment to kick-start the electric revolution. That is the scale of targeted support that our automotive industry needs—not just green number plates. Today she announced plans to create a carbon-neutral energy system by the 2030s, including insulation upgrades for every home in the UK and enough new solar panels to cover 22,000 thousand football pitches, including Anfield.

This is not just about avoiding a climate catastrophe. The green industrial revolution is about building the world we deserve, not the world that the Tories think we deserve We will ensure that nothing is too good for the working people of this country. We can tackle climate change while transforming our economy so that it works for the many, not just the privileged few.

As my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition has said, this is not the time for despair; it is the time for action. I hope the Chancellor—hope does spring eternal—will act by accepting amendment (g) so we can begin to rebuild our economy in the interests of the many, not the few. Under this Government of yesterday, I will not hold my breath.