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Labour Party Conference: Labour’s chance to stand out on energy bills and the cost-of-living

The Beartas Team will be at the Labour Party Conference in Liverpool representing our clients, speaking with influential people from across the country, and listening to what politicians have to say on the big issues facing the country today.

The Labour Party Conference is the first major party conference in this year’s conference season after the Liberal Democrat Conference, which was due to take place this week, was postponed to March 2023 due to the national period of mourning following the passing of the Queen. The conference is an annual coming together of politicians, Labour Party members, private companies and charities, with keynote speeches by the Deputy Leader Angela Raynor, Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves, and Leader of the Opposition Kier Starmer.

This year’s conference comes at a very different time to last year’s conference in Brighton. The Labour Party are 10 points clear in the polls and have been as high as 20 points at times during the summer and are for the first time in years in a strong position to win the next General Election in 2024. Labour have been vocal on their desire to introduce a windfall tax on oil and gas companies to finance energy bill relief for homes and businesses, criticising the Government’s plan to pay for their energy bill relief through borrowing and future energy bills premiums which could last for 20 years. Labour are also critical of the Government’s energy security strategy, especially the increased fossil fuel exploration and the lifting of the moratorium on fracking which the Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg announced earlier this week. Labour’s energy security strategy is focused on green growth, renewable energy and a mass-insulation programme with the ambition to properly insulate 19 million homes by 2030.

The Shadow Chancellor will use her keynote speech to respond to the Chancellor’s Plan for Growth announced in Parliament on Friday, which outlined the Government’s plan for energy bills, tax cuts and economic growth. Labour are critical of the Government’s trickle down economics philosophy, preferring more tax cuts and support for the lowest earners while introducing greater restrictions on the highest earning businesses and further windfall taxes on the oil and gas companies currently enjoying record profits.

The Leader’s speech is usually an opportunity to outline a wide range of policies and ambitions, from foreign policy to health and education, but this year Kier Starmer will likely focus primarily on the cost-of-living crisis and the concerns many people and businesses have about their energy bills this winter. Starmer will criticise the Conservative’s handling of the economy, energy sector and flip-flopping on taxation over the past 12 years, while outlining Labour’s plan to support households and businesses.

Despite the focus on energy bills and cost-of-living at this year’s conference, the Beartas Team will be speaking with industry leaders and politicians about all the issues that matter to our clients and pushing for more details on everything from health and social care to education, technology and green growth. We will also be meeting regularly with our local government contacts and leaders of Labour-led Councils to understand their needs and priorities for the year ahead.

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