Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said the £250 billion “investment blitz” would reduce the economic gap between the north and south if Labour seizes power. Launching his party’s regional manifestos the hard-left socialist veteran claimed the funding “will breathe new life into local economies across the country and bring pride back to communities by kickstarting a Green Industrial Revolution in every part of the UK.” But experts have already questioned how the colossal spending spree will be funded.
It follows a raft of reckless election promises by Mr Corbyn’s party which are worth more than one trillion pounds.
Labour said it will invest to make Britain a world leader in new technologies such as the production and transport of hydrogen, carbon capture and storage to make UK heavy industries the lowest carbon in the world, and three new steel recycling plants in Redcar, Workington and Corby, each creating over 1,000 jobs.
The party said it will invest in tidal lagoon and tidal stream technologies, nine plastics re-manufacture and recycling sites, and plants to manufacture batteries for electric vehicles in Stoke, Swindon and South Wales creating 5,000 jobs each.
There are plans for investment to support green energy manufacturing supply chains in eight ports, investment in the Northern Powerhouse Rail, and local rail expansion and improvement.
Mr McDonnell said: “This election is a chance to bring our country back together. Britain is one of the most unequal countries in Europe but under Labour that will change.
“Labour will govern for the whole of Britain, handing wealth and power back to every community and giving everyone a better life.
“Labour will deliver an investment blitz to rebuild our public services and kickstart a Green Industrial Revolution that will bring prosperity to every region while tackling the climate and environmental emergency head on.
“We’re investing in our collective future and your family’s future to get the economy moving again in every part of Britain, with new industries, better, well paid jobs and communities we can all be proud of.”
Jake Berry, Northern Powerhouse Minister, said: “This is a clear distraction from Corbyn’s failure to set out a Brexit plan.
“Every region in England outside of London voted to leave the European Union. If Corbyn’s Labour want to deliver for the people who live there, he should start with that.
“The only thing on offer from Labour is the chaos of another two referendums.”
Mr McDonnell’s spending plans have been met with criticism from economic experts.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies said the public sector does not have the capacity to keep up with Labour’s promise to raise investment levels by £55 billion a year.
But Mr McDonnell dismissed the feedback yesterday: “The IFS yesterday basically accused me of being too ambitious, well I take that as a badge of pride.”