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Labour energy plan and nuclear commitments welcome

08 Jan 2022
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Scandal that national renewables sector gets huge subsidies from UK billpayers, yet bulk of manufacturing work halfway around the globe, says GMB Union  

GMB, the union for energy workers, welcomes today’s announcement by Rachel Reeves MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, of ambitious plans to support the UK’s energy intensive industries as they suffer from rapidly escalating energy costs. 

The union also recognises the backing given to nuclear power, an essential provider of reliable, clean energy, and critical to our country achieving net-zero carbon emissions.    

Labour’s support package may help protect thousands of jobs currently at risk in companies throughout the UK and follows encouraging comments from Keir Starmer on the importance of developing a domestic hydrogen industry. 

Creating skilled jobs in industries that will power the nation’s future should be at the heart of Government policy, but the renewables sector is a warning to all about getting this wrong. 

Funded by huge subsidies from UK billpayers, the renewables sector sources the bulk of its fabrication and manufacturing work from overseas, often using countries such as China or yards in the Middle East, which are subsidised by huge oil and gas sovereign wealth funds.  

Long-term control over rising costs and security of our energy supply will only happen if there is a commitment to develop domestic industries that onshore the green manufacturing jobs currently offshored to the rest of the world, the union says. 

Gary Smith, GMB General Secretary, said:  

“Labour’s announcement is welcome news and may help protect thousands of jobs in energy intensive companies.   

“We will only get proper control over prices and security of energy supply if we create and support domestic industries that bring home green jobs - a move that would create skilled work for the people of our country.  

“If you want to tackle fuel poverty, a good start is creating well-paid, skilled jobs.   

“It is a national scandal that the renewables sector receives huge subsidies from UK billpayers, yet it is allowed to offshore the bulk of its manufacturing and fabrication work halfway around the globe.  

“Meanwhile we get the crumbs from our own table.  

“If we want to deliver climate justice and economic justice, we need to stop sending this essential work to authoritarian regimes and take responsibility for our energy needs and environmental responsibilities. 

“We must put in place a long-term plan for investment and jobs in the offshore oil and gas sector."  

 

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