Labour's shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves accuses Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng of being 'out of control' and letting energy giants 'pocket cash'
Rachel Reeves stressed her own party’s commitment to “fiscal responsibility” and claimed the Conservatives were responsible for "12 years of failure”.
Making a speech at the Labour party’s conference in Liverpool, Ms Reeves attacked the new Prime Minister on a day the pound hit its lowest level against the dollar since decimalisation in 1971,.
Ms Reeves said: “This Government has undermined the Bank’s independence, sacked the respected permanent secretary to the Treasury and gagged the Office for Budget Responsibility.
“The Chancellor and the Prime Minister, meanwhile, resemble two desperate gamblers in a casino, chasing a losing run. But they’re not gambling with their money, they’re gambling with yours.
“They’ve lost credibility. They’re losing confidence, they’re out of control.
“I have said this before, and be in no doubt – there can be no return to austerity.
“It has left our country poorer, our public services at breaking point, and our public finances in tatters.
“I make this promise to you – Labour will not waver in our commitment to fiscal responsibility.”
Ms Reeves also told delegates the Tories were letting energy companies make big profits that future generations would pay for.
She said: “The Prime Minister is content to let energy giants pocket the cash and leave your children and your grandchildren to pick up the tab.
“Under these Tories, those with the broadest shoulders carry the lightest load. And not by accident, but by choice.
“It is time for a government that is on your side.”
Ms Reeves also criticised the “inadequate” trickle-down economics approach.
The shadow chancellor said: “I dare any Tory MP to tell a nurse or a care worker to their face that what our country really needs right now is bigger bonuses for bankers.
“Trickle-down is a very simple idea – and a very wrong one.”
She also questioned the cut to corporation tax, as the shadow chancellor outlined alternative growth plans.
Ms Reeves said: “If I were Chancellor right now, I would bring together a national economic council that will bring together industry and trade unions so working people and businesses were at the heart of economic decision-making.
“When I talk to businesses, they don’t tell me that their number one priority is corporation tax.
“They tell me about the need for properly-targeted investment allowance, the need for workers equipped with the right skills, the need for certainty and a sense of direction from Government, and, yes, a need for a sensible working relationship with our European neighbours.”
There was also a pledge to bring back the 45p top rate of income tax and use the funds to boost NHS staffing numbers.
She said: “With a Labour Government, those at the top will pay their fair share. The 45p top rate of income tax is coming back.
“Here’s what we will do with that money. The next Labour government will double the number of district nurses qualifying every year, we will train more than 5,000 new health visitors, we will create an additional 10,000 nursing and midwife placements every year.
“More than that, we will implement the biggest expansion of medical school places in British history, doubling the number of medical students, so our NHS has the doctors it needs.”
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