Budget Speech – 12/03/24 


Thank You, Mr Speaker, 

Households will be £870 worse off under Sunak’s tax plan on average, giving 5p for every 10p being taken  

This budget confirms the UK has the highest tax burden in 70 years, rising every year of the forecast period.  

Real pay has gone up by just £17 a week over 13 years of Conservative government. Under Labour, wages rose by £183 a week over 13 years 

Productivity is fundamental for our competitiveness, wage growth, ability to attract investment and overall future economic well-being. 

Britian has had lower productivity than countries like the US, France and Germany and this is due to lack of investment which a recent LSE report argues is a because of what they call ‘a series of unfortunate events’ – Brexit and its aftermath, greater exposure to the financial crisis, a tough austerity programme and enormous policy churn.’  

According to the LSE report, ‘Cracking the Productivity Code’, ‘the consequences of this longest stagnation for centuries’ is a ‘host of political and social problems.’ 

Rather than unfortunate events these are deliberate financial choices and mismanagement. The impact is very real on Putney constituents every day.  


I’m going to focus on a key area of underinvestment – green skills, essential to tackle the climate crisis and boost our economy. 

I was disappointed to hear no new policies to help boost the rollout of low-carbon technologies such as electric vehicles or heat pumps. 

There is a clear need for better alignment between net zero investments and the skills and employment system. 

With Solar Energy UK calling the budget ‘virtually nude’ of anything to bolster that sector.  

We can’t begin to move in the right direction on green productivity without having the processes in place to imbed green skills within our economic infrastructure. A whole industry and skills approach. 

There is a massive shortage of heat pump engineers – we currently have 3,000 but will need 27,000 by 2028. Offshore wind industry needs to triple to just over 104000 to meet current targets.  

It doesn’t have to be this way – these are political choices. The IPPR has found that the UK employs fewer people in renewable energy as a proportion of its working age population than most other European countries. 

In my constituency, South Thames College offer courses in green skills and Solar panel fitting. 

They are taking the proactive step of responding to the wide range of green jobs arising across the economy. 

In their view, to create the most prepared set of graduates possible, it is vital to prepare them for the economy of the future. 

The courses they provide cover a range of skills which will be increasingly needed in the coming years on electrification of cars, heat pumps, solar panels. 


By helping students move into apprenticeships or jobs in the green sector, South Thames College are ahead of the curve, ensuring a joined-up approach.  

Companies like Treadlighter in Southfields in my constituency are booming but can’t keep up with demand as they need more skilled trainees and staff to fit panels. Matching skills to green businesses is essential but government inaction is currently holding back productivity. 


A whole new approach is needed right across the economy to ensure there is a seamless transition from training and education of new green skills straight into internships, apprenticeships and good jobs. 


Without this joined-up and integrated approach to green skills, we will lose out in this global race for green growth and green jobs. 


We are at a turning point for the global economy and by taking the right actions now, we will reap the rewards long into the future. 

This budget is yet another missed opportunity for the Government work with industry and educators alike to ensure the skills needed for the economy of tomorrow are baked into the life chances of every child or any member of society who has taken the plunge and wants to make that career change. 

The Government’s Green Jobs Delivery Group plans to publish their green jobs plan soon. But this budget has given nothing to the green energy industry so I have no high hopes for the plan.  


On this side of the house, we know how important investing for the future is going to be for our success. 


That’s why we have committed to spending £23.5 billion over the course of our first parliament in Government to deliver green power by 2030. 


And Green British Energy, a publicly owned energy company 


will invest in green energy projects including offshore wind, hydrogen, carbon capture, tidal, and nuclear. 


We know that it is only possible to generate private investment in green technologies through public investment in the green transition. 


Without Government absorbing that initial risk, private companies will be reluctant to follow with the investment that is needed. 


By setting an example for the rest of the economy, Great British Energy will kickstart a revolution in green investment and jobs, 


Making sure we create a sustainable, productive and fair economy. 

The number one mission of the next Labour government is to get our economy growing so Britain will be better off.  

We’ll do that through stability, investment and reform.  

That means bringing stability back so we can protect family finances, with tough fiscal rules and a long-term plan for our economy.  

It means investing in British business so we can unlock tens of millions of pounds of private sector investment for our towns and our cities.  

And it means reforming planning, so we can boost growth and get building again.  

Rishi Sunak’s plan has failed. It’s time for a new approach. 

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