Starmer says Scotland key to £2.5bn green jobs plan
Sir Keir Starmer is promising a £2.5 billion jobs plan that will give Scotland a key role in turning the UK into a green energy powerhouse.
On a visit to Aberdeen to meet with industry and workers, the Labour leader will confirm that North Sea industries will be eligible for the his British Jobs Bonus. He says it will support up to 50,000 jobs in Scotland by 2030.
Labour has already announced that GB Energy, a new publicly-owned company to invest in clean homegrown power and make Britain energy secure, will be headquartered in Scotland, though details about its functions remain sketchy.
Speaking with energy industry leaders in Aberdeen, he will present his party’s plans for clean energy as the “only credible, pragmatic plans to take the industry forward” underpinned by lower bills.
He will criticise the “abject failure” of a Conservative Government, accusing ministers of backtracking on net-zero, jeopardising British jobs and undermining UK energy security.
However, industry leaders will require assurances that a Labour government would not pull the rug from under the oil and gas sector prematurely. There is concern over its plan not to grant more licences in the North Sea beyond those already approved.
Alongside Scottish Labour Leader Anas Sarwar and Energy Secretary Ed Miliband, the Labour leader will add detail to his party’s British Jobs Bonus, which will crowd in tens of billions of pounds in investment from the private sector by rewarding clean energy developers who invest in good jobs and supply chains in industrial heartlands and energy communities.
Labour confirms today that the bonus will apply to hydrogen, carbon capture and storage (CCS), and floating offshore wind (FLOW) – three of the core technologies for the transition in the North Sea.
The bonuses will come from a £2.5bn fund of catalytic public investment, to crowd in additional billions of private sector investment, to help create thousands of jobs for Scotland’s energy communities.
Speaking ahead of the trip, Sir Keir said: “The road to making Britain a clean energy superpower, slashing energy bills and creating tens of thousands of quality jobs runs through Scotland and the North Sea.
“This Conservative Party has zero ambition, zero plan and zero concern for the millions of British families suffering sky-high energy bills as a result of the government’s abject failure.
“Every day that they play political games, causing uncertainty and investment risk for the sector, they are costing jobs and hitting people’s pockets. My Labour government will rise above short termist gimmicks, put the country before our party, and deliver the long-term future of our energy industry.
“From establishing GB Energy, our publicly owned energy company headquartered in Scotland, to delivering the most significant investment in Scotland’s ports since privatisation, and securing the future of technologies like CCS, hydrogen, and offshore wind, with Labour, Scotland and the North Sea will power Britain’s clean energy future.
“Only Labour can deliver lower bills, good jobs, and energy security for our country.”
During a tour of InchDairnie distillery in Glenrothes, the Labour leader said the UK government had broken promises to deliver a free trade agreement with the US, a trade deal with India by Diwali 2022 and a pledge to have 80% of UK trade covered by free trade agreement by the end of 2022.
Scotch Whisky producers are calling on the UK government to strike a deal with its Indian counterpart to reduce the 150% tariff on Scotch.
Sir Keir said: “Nowhere is Scotch whisky more popular than India. We should be celebrating that fact.
“But instead of backing the industry with a coherent strategy for international trade, successive Conservative governments have broken promises, failed to negotiate a deal with India, and watched opportunities for growth drain away. That’s unforgivable.
“The industry is crying out for certainty. Whether it’s micro distilleries scaling up, or larger businesses reaching new international markets, they need stability to make that happen. Hearing from staff at InchDairnie today, the importance of that is not lost on me. It brings much-needed security for working people.