The Leader of the Opposition will warn that the UK is on track to be more poor than Poland by the end of this decade, and will fall behind Hungary and Romania by 2040.
He is set to explain how he plans to make Britain’s economy the fastest-growing in the G7 group of large wealthy countries, which is one of the five “missions” Sir Keir announced last week.
In a 10-page policy document published today, Labour promises to remove some of the obstacles currently in the way of economic development.
If it wins the next general election, Labour will “update our planning system to remove barriers to investment in new industries”, following claims that planning rules make it harder to build projects such as new solar panels. It will also “reform” the planning regime for building new homes and introduce “new protections for renters”.
The Conservative Government has repeatedly shied away from planning reform after backbench MPs protested against the idea of watering down local authorities’ right to block new developments in their area.
In a speech introducing his economic plans, Sir Keir is expected to say: “We need to be frank about the path of decline the Tories have set our country on. The British people are falling behind while our European neighbours get richer, in the east as well as in countries like France and Germany. I’m not comfortable with that – not comfortable with a trajectory that will soon see Britain overtaken by Poland. Nor am I prepared to accept what the consequences of this failure would mean.”
Greg Hands, the chairman of the Conservative party, said in response: “The last time Labour left office, there was no money left, debt was spiralling, and unemployment soared – something the British people will never forget.”
Tory centrists, including Michael Gove, are planning to unveil their own policy plans this week to take the Conservatives to the next General Election and seek to keep the party away from the control of its right wing.
The Liberal Democrats today push their own attack on the Government’s economic policy: leader Sir Ed Davey will call for energy bills to be cut using the savings to the Treasury from lower-than-expected global gas prices, and a tax on the bonuses of energy company bosses.