Jeremy Corbyn plans a ‘green jobs revolution’ – promising 400,000 new jobs and 20,000 extra wind turbines across the UK
Jeremy Corbyn will today vow to carpet Britain in thousands more wind turbines in a ‘green jobs revolution’.
The Labour leader will pledge to tear up planning rules to allow developers to double the number of wind turbines on land, and increase the number at sea sixfold.
The move would mean installing almost 20,000 extra wind turbines across the UK.
And Labour will set a target for retro-fitting insulation to four million homes – a move which could cost middle-class families thousands. Mr Corbyn will also pledge solar panels are installed on every ‘viable’ roof. And he will use his keynote speech to Labour’s conference in Liverpool to step up his attacks on business, to end the ‘greed is good culture’.
Labour has faced a ferocious backlash this week after unveiling plans for mass nationalisations, share confiscations and the sacking of highly-paid bosses.
Theresa May last night said Labour had shown its true colours this week, adding that John McDonnell’s plan to force large firms to hand over 10 per cent of their dividends and shares to workers and the state was a ‘tax on companies and a tax on people’.
Labour sources last night said Mr Corbyn’s push for green jobs gave the lie to claims he would wreck the economy, saying his plans would create 400,000 jobs over 12 years.
Mr Corbyn will say the UK has to ‘lead by example’ on the environment, adding: ‘There is no bigger threat facing humanity than climate change.’ The claim is similar to one made by Gordon Brown in 2009, who also promised to create 400,000 jobs.
The decision to launch a new drive for onshore windfarms is likely to prove highly controversial in rural communities.
Labour sources said planning laws tightened by the coalition government would be relaxed, although local people would still have ‘a say’ in the process. Labour’s targets would mean building an extra 7,000 wind turbines on land, with a further 12,000 erected off shore.
There are currently 7,100 wind turbines on shore and just under 2,000 off shore.
Mr Corbyn will also back the £1.3billion project for a tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay, abandoned this year due to ruinous costs. And, as part of a £12.8billion package, he will announce plans to insulate four million homes in Labour’s first five years in government. The state would pay for low income households, while better off families would be offered interest-free loans.
Mr Corbyn’s past support for the reopening of Britain’s coal mines has been quietly dropped as part of the drive to slash carbon emissions.
The Labour leader will also step up his attack on the way Britain’s market economy has been run, accusing successive governments of propping up the UK’s ‘greed-is-good, deregulated financial capitalism’.
Meanwhile, Labour last night announced it would extend free child care for all parents. Mr Corbyn will today pledge to tackle ‘patchy’ provision and scrap means-testing – benefiting up to a million children and their parents.
Under current Government rules for free childcare, 15 hours a week is offered for all three and four-year-olds, regardless of income, but under Labour’s changes it will be doubled to 30 hours for three and four-year-olds with two-year-olds also included.
Pledges Jeremy Corbyn will make
Jeremy Corbyn is set to denounce ‘greed-is good capitalism’ as he sets out plans for a radical reshaping of the UK economy, including a ‘green jobs revolution’ to create 400,000 skilled posts.
In his keynote speech to Labour’s annual conference in Liverpool on Wednesday, Mr Corbyn will accuse ‘the political and corporate establishment’ of propping up the financial system which caused misery to millions following the crash of 2008.
And he will say that Labour is ready to deliver ‘the radical plan we need to rebuild and transform Britain’, telling delegates: ‘The old way of running things isn’t working anymore.’
Corbyn will say Britain needs a Government ‘committed to investing in renewables, in jobs and in training’ and will promise large-scale public and private investment in wind and solar power, as well as subsidies to make all homes energy efficient.
Changes to planning guidance will aim to encourage private investment to double onshore wind power over 12 years, while offshore wind will be increased sevenfold and solar power threefold.
Mr Corbyn’s speech comes at the end of a four-day conference which has been dominated by Brexit, but has seen the Labour leader and shadow chancellor John McDonnell set out a range of policies to reverse inequalities in wealth and economic power.
These have ranged from workers in the boardroom to employee shareholding funds and new taxes on second homes.
They sparked warnings from the CBI that Labour risks ‘cracking the foundations of this country’s prosperity’.
But Mr Corbyn will say it is ‘essential’ to change the system which has seen growing inequality, job insecurity and in-work poverty over the past decade.
‘Ten years ago this month, the whole edifice of greed-is-good, deregulated financial capitalism, lauded for a generation as the only way to run a modern economy, came crashing to earth, with devastating consequences,’ he will say.
‘But instead of making essential changes to a broken economic system, the political and corporate establishment strained every sinew to bail out and prop up the system that led to the crash in the first place.
‘People in this country know – they showed that in June last year – that the old way of running things isn’t working anymore.
‘That’s why Labour is offering a radical plan to rebuild and transform Britain.’
Mr Corbyn’s comments risk being seen as an attack on former Labour prime minister Gordon Brown, who led the global response to the financial crash in 2008 with massive intervention to shore up the banks.
But aides insisted that Mr Corbyn regarded the ex-PM’s decision to take action to avert a collapse in the financial system as ‘absolutely correct’, though he had reservations about the subsequent package of support for banks, quantitative easing and interest rate cuts which saw much of the benefit of bail-outs go to the wealthy while poorer parts of society suffered austerity.
Setting out his plans to invest in green jobs, Mr Corbyn will say: ‘There is no bigger threat facing humanity than climate change. We must lead by example.’
Labour’s plans would see £12.8 billion invested in an insulation programme over five years, with means-tested subsidies for low-income owner-occupiers and social housing and zero interest loans for home-owners and landlords who are able to pay.
Universal energy efficiency measures – including retrofitting of old properties – would reduce heat demand from buildings by a quarter.
The party aims to increase the share of electricity coming from low carbon or renewable sources from 50% to 85% and the share of heat from almost nothing to 44% by 2030, as part of a drive to cut 60% of greenhouse gas emissions by that date and reach zero emissions by 2050.
Mr Corbyn will say: ‘Our energy plans would make Britain the only developed country outside Scandinavia to be on track to meet our climate change obligations.
‘That means working with unions representing the workforce to ensure jobs and skills are protected as we move towards a low-carbon economy.
‘And it means working with industry to change the way we build, and to train the workforce to retrofit homes and work in the industries we will build.
‘It needs a government committed to investing in renewables, in jobs and in training.’
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