Rachel Reeves: We will relax the bill to compete with Macron and Biden in the race for green jobs (2023)

During a recent holiday in Cornwall, as Rachel Reeves was queuing to visit a country house with her children, an onlooker approached her and said: "I really hope you enjoy this summer Rachel, because I hope so." I'm sorry. We won't have many holidays in the next few years."

The time was, in the words of the Labor MPpreparing to become chancellor next year, a "reality check" as he enjoyed time with his son and daughter before what he hopes will be "our last opposition conference."

It is clear that the fact that Mrs Reeves, 44, and Sir Keir Starmer, 60, appear to be within reach of their posts (Labour are 20 points ahead of the Conservatives in the latest polls) has led to this situation.Make important decisions about how you will rule..

two of youMrs Reeves has already made it clearShe provides the clearest indication yet of how her party intends to win over business leaders and middle-class voters.

Firstly, it will bring business closer to decision-making, ending Whitehall's 'minister knows best' approach. Secondly, Mrs Reeves, a former Bank of England economist, and Sir Keir will deny this outright.The mantra of the Jeremy Corbyn era that wealth is bad.and it should be heavier.

Reeves said on Friday at a converted 19th-century textile factory in his Leeds constituency that Labor was preparing a review of planning legislation to make it easier to build green infrastructure: like gigafactories to build batteries for electric cars, wind farms marine and new energy. lines, in addition to relaxing the legislation to facilitate the construction of houses.

The move will be part of a "do whatever it takes" approach to attract green jobs and investment - to spur economic growth - from companies awash in lucrative offers from countries including the United States, France and Germany.

Ms Reeves believes that Britain is "losing" investment from car manufacturers, as around 50 gigafactories are planned in Europe.only one in the uk. She says Labor will use a new national wealth fund to invest £2bn to attract more private sector investment in eight gigafactories.

He adds: "It's about making sure that when you build a gigafactory, you have the skills and the people capable of doing the job." So it's a partnership approach, it's not just about money, it's also about planning and skills."

Labor sees housing as an important way to take advantage of "great growth opportunities". Unlike the conservatives, the country plans to relax building codes in the green belt.

"We need to loosen up the planning rules a bit," Reeves says. "In the case of offshore wind energy, from the conception of a project to the moment in which this energy is injected into the grid, between 10 and 13 years pass."

focus on business

The Labor left has criticized Reeves for being too close to business, but it is clear that she and Sir Keir are ready to take up this fight as they see private enterprise as a key driver of growth.

"In this government there is too much of a 'minister knows what is best' philosophy." I think companies and indeed local people often know what's best for them," he says.

"That's why a lot of investment decisions go elsewhere, because the United States, Germany or South Korea have a different approach when it comes to the relationship between government and business."

In particular,Joe Biden's hundreds of billions of pounds in grantsIn the climate and energy arena, companies have raised about $200 billion in investment since last year.

"They have a government that wants to work with them to facilitate investment, and that's where they go," says Reeves.

"There is a real danger that we will lose these jobs and new industries if we don't mean it."

Britain, he says, is "Europe's largest producer of clean energy from offshore wind" and yet "we don't build turbines in this country." It's really a missed opportunity."

Reeves' philosophy dates back to an interview he gave to The Telegraph after his appointment in May 2021, in which he promised to ensure that "we can buy, produce and sell more in this country."

Of particular concern is the government's apparent inaction to beat leaders like Biden and Emmanuel Macron in the global race to build the gigafactories needed to boost electric car production and create thousands of jobs.

Last month, Rishi Sunak announced that the government had struck a deal with the Tata Group to allow the company to build a massive factory in the UK, its first outside India.produce batteries for Jaguar Land Rover.

"It is an example that it can be done," but the problem with this government is that it is irregular," he said. "We have to do what is necessary to create those jobs and those investments; otherwise we will lose even more British production and end up paying more for things because we have to import things here in the UK instead of making them."

“There are fifty battery factories across Europe, only one of which is in the UK. We just don't mean it. I wish there was another, but everyone in the car industry tells me that in the UK we need eight if we are to consolidate our position as a serious car manufacturer.

Mrs Reeves would use a national wealth fund of £8bn to invest "along with business" in green industries such as car battery production, hydrogen and carbon capture. She also doesn't rule out the use of tax breaks: "I think you can offer tax breaks to encourage people to invest here, but what I want is to get jobs here."

Income tax hike off the table

After years of flirting with measures like a new wealth tax and a sweeping plan to eliminate the sales tax break for private schools, convincing wealthier voters they won't face more penalties for voting Labor seems a major challenge. But it seems that Mrs. Reeves and Sir Keir have decided to give it a try... from now on.

The Shadow Chancellor insists that Sir Keir is the first.The plan to increase the top tax rate from 45 cents is off the table– like any form of wealth tax.

Asked how a Labor government would view wealth, she replied: "I'm a big supporter of wealth creation and I'd like to see more of it in the UK."

He wants children growing up in the poorest parts of his Leeds constituency to have the same opportunities as young people in the more prosperous suburbs. But she insists: "I want more people to have these opportunities, not for anyone's opportunities to be diluted."

Asked if Sir Keir's promise in the 2020 leadership race to raise the top income tax rate had been withdrawn, Ms Reeves replied: "Yes. The tax burden is the highest in 60, maybe even in 70. In the 13 years of Conservative rule there were 24 tax increases.

“I don't see a way to get more money for public services through taxes. It will be that we grow there. And that is why the policies we are putting in place are aimed at encouraging businesses, large and small, to invest in the UK."

How about some kind of wealth tax?

"No," he says for the first time.

This moment marks a significant shift from two years ago, when he declared: "People who earn their income from wealth should pay more."

Ms Reeves insists those comments were linked to Mr Sunak's failed attempt to increase Social Security to raise an additional £12bn for the NHS and welfare.

No estate tax required

"I pointed out at the time that the government said they had to put in £12bn and I said why do you always have to go to the workers and ask them to put in more?"

He continues: "I don't have any spending plan that requires us to raise £12bn. So I don't need any wealth tax or anything like that. We don't have plans for a wealth tax. We don't have plans to raise the taxes beyond what we have said. I don't understandThe road to wealth through taxes. I want to grow the economy."

He has already outlined plans to eliminate non-dominant tax status and fill a "vacuum" that private equity fund managers are exploiting.

Denying “current plans” is, of course, a popular phrase among politicians who don't want to deny outright that they might do something like this in the future. But Mrs. Reeves likes to be categorical. "We won't do that. It's a denial. It's not a denial, it's just a denial. She also wasn't 'instinctively willing to pay a frequent flyer fare.'

His preparations for office included "devoting a great deal of time to business", seeking the advice of his Labor predecessors Lord Darling of Roulanish and Gordon Brown, and having a "strange conversation" with George Osborne, an odious figure in the austerity labor left.

Mrs Reeves says she encourages members of Sir Keir's front to craft reforms and find plans that can be scrapped so the money can be spent elsewhere, arguing that she "couldn't turn on any spending spigots". as chancellor because... the money just won't be there."

And he adds: “I keep telling my colleagues: don't come to me with the intention of spending more money. Are there other ways to do things? Is there any reform that you can implement? And then the next question is: Are there things that your department is spending money on that aren't a priority?

The government has “abandoned” the reforms.

The government "abandoned reforms six or seven years ago," he adds.

Ms Reeves remains concerned about the cost of living and says she is determined to do so.The goal of net zero emissions by 2050 should not make people poorer.

"That worries me and I strongly believe that the way we are doing it is not like that," he says. She believes targets such as banning the sale of gasoline-powered cars by 2030 could make things "more difficult" for people if there is no "industrial strategy" to build greener alternatives. However, she adds that the country must meet the targets because companies need certainty.

She and her husband, Nick Joicey, a senior civil servant, are aware of the high cost of childcare as "they both work full time." But she says the family has the "big advantage" that her parents live nearby.

As Reeves spent the summer poring over articles by figures like Jake Sullivan, the US national security adviser, on the relationship between economic security and national security, he also read alternate pages of the Mr. Penguin detective series with his son. She can, she says, "be a bit of a tiger mom." She let him do some math and read over the holidays."

If Mrs. Reeves's Cornish benefactor has her way, it could be several years before the next book is ready.


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