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Labour’s plan for publicly-owned GB Energy firm is slammed as ‘just another ideological vanity project’ as experts warn party’s green schemes would send bills soaring

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  • Sir Keir Starmer claimed the policy would save households up to £300 on energy

Labour‘s green energy plans were branded ‘a con’ yesterday as experts warned they were ‘not plausible’ and would send bills soaring.

Sir Keir Starmer launched his policy initiative on the election campaign trail in Scotland, claiming it would save households up to £300 on their energy bills by the end of the next parliament.

But critics said it would mean taxes or bills having to be drastically hiked before falling again due to the sums needed to achieve his vision by 2030.

Last night Energy Secretary Claire Coutinho told the Mail: ‘Labour still can’t explain to the public what this policy actually is because they do not have a plan, placing Britain’s energy security at risk.

‘GB Energy is just another ideological vanity project by [shadow energy secretary] Ed Miliband that will triple families’ bills and put public sector unions in charge of Britain’s energy security.’

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar, Sir Keir Starmer and shadow secretary of state for energy security and net zero Ed Miliband at the Port of Greenock while on the General Election campaign trail on Friday

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar, Sir Keir Starmer and shadow secretary of state for energy security and net zero Ed Miliband at the Port of Greenock while on the General Election campaign trail on Friday 

Union leaders turned on Sir Keir about the policy, warning it could cost thousands of jobs because his plan involves not issuing any new licences for gas and oil drilling in the North Sea. Labour also wants to decarbonise the electricity network by 2030, something experts said was ‘pretty much impossible’ and a pledge that’s ‘too good to be true’.

Under the party’s plans if it wins the general election, it would set up a new publicly owned company – Great British Energy – with the aim of investing in homegrown power sources.

It is aimed at cutting the UK’s dependence on energy from hostile, foreign countries such as Russia and boosting domestic energy supplies.

The company would invest in domestic power sources, with the aim of cutting energy bills. Early investments by Great British Energy will include wind and solar projects across the UK, as well as making Scotland a world leader in new technologies such as floating offshore wind farms and hydrogen.

Labour plans to fund the company, which will have its HQ in Scotland, through a windfall tax on big oil and gas firms, with an initial £8.3billion capitalisation over a parliament. Sir Keir said it would help ‘turn the page’ on the cost-of-living crisis by lowering energy bills, adding: ‘The choice at this election is clear: higher bills and energy insecurity with the Conservatives, or lower bills and energy security with Labour.’

Sir Keir launched his policy initiative on the election campaign trail in Scotland, claiming it would save households up to £300 on their energy bills by the end of the next parliament

Sir Keir launched his policy initiative on the election campaign trail in Scotland, claiming it would save households up to £300 on their energy bills by the end of the next parliament

Under the party's plans if it wins the general election, it would set up a new publicly owned company – Great British Energy

Under the party’s plans if it wins the general election, it would set up a new publicly owned company – Great British Energy

But ministers and experts blasted Labour, suggesting its plans could actually exacerbate the cost-of-living crisis due to the huge sums needed to invest in the green infrastructure needed by 2030 – which would be passed on to householders in higher bills or taxes.

Sir Keir claimed it would not lead to job losses and that he would not allow a repeat of the mistakes which hammered many Scottish communities when large parts of the coal industry were shut.

But he faced repeated questions about the threat to jobs. This week, the Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce said the next UK government will have just 100 days to save 100,000 jobs by taking action to restore confidence in the oil and gas sector. Speaking at yesterday’s event, Sir Keir said: ‘We’re not turning off the taps… oil and gas is part of the mix for decades to come.’

During an interview on BBC Good Morning Scotland, he said: ‘I do reject that analysis [that jobs would be lost]. In fact, I’m absolutely convinced that the transition could bring more jobs to Scotland and jobs that would last for decades.’



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