Tonight Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves says she is more optimistic than ever about Labour’s chances of returning to power.
The party frontbencher is optimistic that, 12 years after becoming an MP, it could be at the threshold of reclaiming Downing Street’s keys.
In her plan to take control of the Treasury, after the demise of the President, “high tax”Tomorrow she will outline a five point plan for growth and creating a stronger economic environment for the Conservatives at the next election.
In an exclusive interview with the Mirror, she made a promise to ignite economic growth in order to improve public schools, hospitals, and other public institutions.
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At the heart of the blueprint is reviving Britain’s industrial heritage – starting in the North where Labour desperately needs to win back “Red Wall”To return to work, you will need to take seats.
Citing technologies which will help meet the UK”s net-zero by 2050 pledge, Ms Reeves promised to “invest in these new industries of the future that can create those good jobs and re-industrialise some of those parts of Britain – former industrial areas, coastal communities”.
She wants to see the UK as a leader in manufacturing, competing against other countries for electric cars, wind turbines and carbon capture and stored energy.
“In the Industrial Revolution we led the world and there’s a risk today that other countries are going to steal a march on us, and I’m determined not to let that happen,”She spoke.
“We can’t afford to lose that race.”
The creation of more and better jobs will boost growth and tax revenues, which in turn will give ministers money to invest in public services.
Prior to the coronavirus attack, UK growth was 1.7% in 2016/2017, 1.3% in 2018, and 1.4% in 2019.
While experts believe this year’s rate will be 7.3% as the country bounces back from Covid-19, the Office for Budget Responsibility predicts growth of 1.7% in 2023, 1.6% the following year and 1.7% in 2025.
“The reason this matters is because we’ve got a cost-of-living crisis and we’ve also got public services – schools and hospitals – that have been starved of cash for the last decade or so,”Ms Reeves is a former Bank of England economist. She is now 42.
“But without an economy that’s growing, it’s impossible to improve public services and improve people’s living standards.”
Two manifesto promises were broken by the Tories: they suspended the triple lock pensions and raised national insurance.
Other financial problems that April will bring include the council tax increases and the freezing of the personal income tax allowance.
36.2% is the expected tax burden, which is the highest since the 1950s, when the country was still recovering following the Second World War.
“The Government has ended up being a high tax party because they have become a low growth party,”Ms Reeves was warned.
“That is resulting in people being even worse off than they would be with the increase in gas and electricity prices.”
Rachel Reeves is finally convinced that Labour could win back the office after it has been over a decade since she was elected to Parliament.
In May 2010, Labour was ousted from power. She was made an MP and has been opposition to Labour all her time in Parliament.
The Shadow Chancellor stated: “For the first time maybe I am beginning to hope that this opposition malarkey might come to an end and (I) might actually see government.
“I didn’t come into politics just to oppose and to argue against and make a speech here and there.
“I came into politics to make a difference.”
She continued: “I was born in 1979, the year Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister – I didn’t see a Labour government until three months after my 18th birthday.
“My children were born in 2013 and 2015 – I don’t want them to go through their whole time in school under Conservative governments.”
According to polls, Partygate has eroded support for Boris Johnson and turned voters against the Tories.
But how much of the boost to Labour’s ratings is down to policies shaped by the Shadow Cabinet?
“People think about the sacrifices they have made and yet they were partying it up at No10, so no doubt that is having a big impact on how people say they are going to vote,”Rachel Reeves.
“But if you look at the polls it’s not just that the Tory vote share is going down, the Labour vote share is going up.
“That is really encouraging because that is more than just Conservatives doing badly.”
She continued: “Because we are a bit ahead in the polls now, people are interested to hear what we’ve got to say.
“It’s really important that now we have this opportunity, that we speak to the country about the difference we would make.”
Thursday’s speech is in Bury, which is 223 miles away from Westminster.
Symbolically, the Greater Manchester market town’s two constituencies were lost by Labour to the Tories at the 2019 election as the Conservatives demolished the “Red Wall”.
Andy Burnham (Greater Manchester Metro Mayor) will introduce Rachel Reeves, also known as the King North.
Leeds West MP stated: “As a northern MP, you get frustrated when politicians are at the podium in London all the time.
“I think it’s really good to be taking Labour’s message around the country.
“There are seats in Gtr Manchester, including two in Bury, that Labour need to win back if we are to form the next government.
“There is no route to Downing Street for my leader Keir (Starmer) that doesn’t go through Bury, and in my neck of the woods places like Keighley, Wakefield, Colne Valley and Calder Valley, then over to the east like Grimsby.
“We have got to win back support in these parts of the country.”
Buying British products for bumper government deals rather than importing from abroad is key to reviving Britain’s industrial sector, Rachel Reeves believes.
She lashed out at the Tories, accusing them of buying steel from overseas and defence equipment.
“We should be looking at, ‘Are those contracts delivering good jobs and apprenticeships and skills in this country?’ – and if they’re not, why not?”She promised to deliver, she said. “real step change”If Labour were in power.
“The Government is the biggest buyer of goods and services in our economy and too often those contracts are going overseas and not creating value in this country,”The frontbencher said so.
“If you want to support things like our steel industry for example, we need to ensure we are using procurement to help buy, make and sell more in Britain.”
Cut VAT on energy
Labour is asking the government to lower the 5% VAT on dualfuel bills in order to lessen the energy price hike that threatens families.
The Mirror-backed demand would help households when they are slapped with average bills expected to be up to £2,000 when the price cap is lifted in April.
The Shadow Chancellor stated: “We should be insulating our homes properly so that brings down people’s bills permanently.
“We’ve got to regulate the market properly, we’ve got to invest in renewables.
“But there’s also something you can do right now, and that is take VAT off people’s gas and electricity bills, and it’s expanding the Warm Homes Discount so pensioners and families who need the most support get a bit more as well.
“We would pay for that by a windfall tax on the North Sea oil and gas companies who are making a fortune right now.”
Five points to growth
The Shadow Chancellor will outline five points that will boost growth.
Industrial Strategy “The PM said ‘eff business’ – I thought at the time that was just a quip; it turns out to be the organising principle of this Government.”
Skills “Every child should have the chance to go to a good or outstanding school. But there are many families who don’t have that option for their kids.”
Investment – “We would put in the investment we need … in hydrogen, in carbon capture and storage, in electric vehicles.”
Innovation – “Supporting the entrepreneurs and innovators – we want to create jobs and businesses in all parts of the country.”
Britain in the world “I want to buy, make and sell more in Britain. We should be using all the tools at government disposal to support British businesses and jobs in this country.”