Energy Secretary Claire Coutinho has taken aim at Labour’s “mad” plans to borrow £28 billion and send British jobs abroad.
The opposition party has pledged to spend the sum every year on green initiatives if “fiscal rules” allow it.
Speaking at COP28 in Dubai, Ms Coutinho said: “I think the Labour Party have a lot of explaining to do, even in the energy space, they’ve barely set out any plans and where they have they’ve been criticised by the unions, by the industry and half the time it seems like the Labour leadership themselves don’t even agree with them.
“Energy is so important for our future, for our businesses and our people to thrive. I think the fact that they’ve got mad plans to borrow £28 billion and send British jobs abroad so that we have to import fuel with higher emissions just goes to show that they’re not ready to lead the country.”
Labour had originally promised in 2021 to invest £28 billion a year until 2030 in green projects if it came to power.
However, in June shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves said the figure would instead be a target to work towards in the second half of a first parliament.
The party denied reports last month it has been watered down yet again at the instance of Sir Keir Starmer
Speaking on Monday, the Labour leader said: “The £28 billion, we will ramp up to that in the second half of the Parliament.
“It will be used to trigger that other investment from the private sector and we’ll ramp up – it’s not a question of the investment not starting until the middle of the next Parliament.
“It is, of course, subject to our fiscal rules. But I am confident that if we turbocharge the growth that we need, we’ll be able to achieve the investment we need within the fiscal rules.”
His party has been consistently ahead in opinion polls, with some surveys putting them as much as 20 points ahead of the Tories, who have been in power since 2010.
But Ms Coutinho insisted the Tories had “credible, positive plans” for the country which could put the party on track to victory in an expected general election next year.
She said: “We’re going to get on with delivering credible positive plans for the country, making sure that we’re bringing in jobs and investment and personally that I’m securing enough energy for the country to succeed in the decades ahead.”
Ms Coutinho insisted ministers are “hard headed” about protecting Britons from rocketing bills as the nation transitions to net zero.
- Support fearless journalism
- Read The Daily Express online, advert free
- Get super-fast page loading
Ms Coutinho added: “We are incredibly ambitious. We’re further ahead than almost all of our international peers when it comes to decarbonising but I also think it’s really important that we’re hard headed about protecting UK households and making sure that we are thinking about how we use this advantage to bring in investment and create jobs in our country.”
Labour has been contacted for a comment.
Source: Read Full Article