10 March 2019

John McDonnell has vowed that as Chancellor he will deliver 50,000 new well-paid and unionised jobs for Scotland.

In an a keynote policy announcement, McDonnell unveiled Labour’s plan to massively expand employment in Scotland's green energy sector.

Setting out a significant plank of Labour’s programme for government, McDonnell said the party would create tens of thousands of jobs in offshore wind in Scotland.

In his speech to the conference in Dundee, McDonnell made the detailed policy announcement that will form part of Scottish Labour’s next general election manifesto.

McDonnell said: “under Labour, Scotland will be at the heart of a Green Industrial Revolution in our energy sector that could save this planet.

“You know that already 60% of the UK’s onshore wind capacity is in Scotland.

“Labour’s has developed ambitious plans for expanding onshore wind.

“At least 60% of that new capacity will be here and could mean 20 thousand new jobs in Scotland.

“With another 42 gigawatts of capacity under Labour from offshore wind, that could be another 15,000 jobs in Scotland.

“And when we roll out our UK-wide home retrofitting programme that could be close to 15 thousand more jobs here in Scotland.

“That’s a total of another 50,000 new, well-paid, unionised jobs as a result of our Green Industrial Revolution.

McDonnell also used his speech to say that Philip Hammond was “the weakest Chancellor” in living memory.

Speaking ahead of the government’s spring statement on Wednesday (March 13), McDonnell said Hammond was a prisoner of hard right Tory Brexiteers.

McDonnell said Hammond had presided over years of brutal austerity, depressed living standards and a surge in poverty by forcing through policies such as the rape clause and Universal Credit.

He said: “Philip Hammond will get up to deliver his Spring Statement on Wednesday the weakest Chancellor among his Cabinet peers that I can ever remember and possibly in Parliamentary history.

“And if Theresa May chooses or is forced to sack Hammond, what will be his economic legacy?

“The lowest growth in six years. Manufacturing in recession.

“Investment falling.

“Wages below where they were ten years ago.

“A trade deficit over £10 billion last quarter. The slowest recovery from a recession since the 1920s.

“An austerity programme that has destroyed the fabric of our society and left public services at breaking point, with more cuts still to come.

“A funding gap of £7.8 billion in English local government looming by 2025, and a funding gap of at least half a billion pounds already last year in Scotland .

“87 people a day die while waiting for social care in England. Whilst in Scotland 300 people died last year in Scottish hospitals waiting to be discharged, often because a social care package had not been arranged.

“Universal Credit causing further poverty and hardship wherever it is rolled out.

“For many families because of the utterly abhorrent two-child limit.”

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