Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner has said the party is not committed to “arbitrary” numbers on its pledge to ultimately invest £28 billion a year in the green economy.
She said the money will depend on sticking to fiscal rules and Labour will “ramp up” to this figure if in government.
The SNP has attacked Labour for “watering down” the commitment to invest £28 billion a year, but Sir Keir Starmer’s party has rejected the accusation.
On Friday, Ms Rayner visited the Glenkinchie distillery in East Lothian alongside Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar.
She denied there is confusion around Labour’s policy on green investment, saying the party will stick to its fiscal rules as well as securing £3 of private investment for every £1 of public money.
Ms Rayner said: “It’s not about just throwing a figure out there willy-nilly, and saying we’ll just put that in.
“It’s got to be part of applying to our fiscal rules.
“This is about identifying where that money will be spent, and when, how quickly we can get that off the ground in a sustainable way to secure the public money and secure that three times the amount of private investment.
“They’re the rules that we’re applying to that money.
“Therefore it’s arbitrary to say, well every year it will be £28 billion by immediately the first day.
“We don’t even know what the public finances are going to be like.”
Questioned further on whether the party is moving away from the £28 billion figure, she said: “No, we’re saying that we want to ramp up to £28 billion.
“But we’re not just going to throw money out there.
“The fiscal rules that Rachel (Reeves, the shadow chancellor) has applied to that money is that it has to be about investment in jobs of the future as part of our industrial strategy.”
Jobs in steel and home retrofitting will be among these jobs, she said.
Ms Rayner is in Scotland to promote Labour’s “new deal for working people”, banning exploitative zero-hours contracts as well as fire-and-rehire practices.
She repeated her stance that the SNP’s calls for employment laws to be devolved to Holyrood is not needed.
The SNP has also called for Ms Rayner to back lifting the two-child benefit cap.
She said Labour will have a strategy on bringing down child poverty, but it “cannot make unfunded spending commitments now”.
Discussing the employment law promises, she said a Bill will be laid before Parliament in the first 100 days of a Labour government.
Ms Rayner said: “I’ll be making sure, hopefully if we win the general election, as deputy prime minister that we stick to it.
“Because that is crucial for me, it’s been one of my big priorities.”
Meanwhile, discussing evidence from former first minister Nicola Sturgeon and other
Scottish Government figures at the UK Covid-19 Inquiry this week, Ms Rayner said she did not believe Ms Sturgeon had answered questions around the deletion of her WhatsApp messages “credibly”.
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