Corbyn Plans Climate & Energy Socialism

  • Date: 15/05/19
  • The Daily Telegraph

Jeremy Corbyn has drawn up plans to take control of Britain’s energy networks in a multi-billion pound power-grab modelled on the nationalisation of Northern Rock.

A leaked Labour party document has revealed plans for a swift and sweeping renationalisation of the country’s £62bn energy networks at a price decided by Parliament.

The blueprint, seen by the Telegraph, lays bare for the first time Mr Corbyn’s plan to bring all energy network companies under public ownership “immediately” following a Labour election win.

The party is planning to employ the same legislative tools used to nationalise Northern Rock in order to justify naming its own price for the companies.

Those in Labour’s sights include the FTSE 100 energy giant National Grid, which is worth over £29bn, and the transmission arms of Big Six energy companies SSE and Scottish Power.

The nationalisation agenda will also include all 19 of the UK’s smaller regional gas and power grids and the massive subsea power cables linking the UK to Europe. 

In return Mr Corbyn is prepared to offer the world’s biggest infrastructure investors, banks and pension funds Government bonds at a value decided by parliament.

City sources have warned that any move to “underpay” for Britain’s gas pipes and power lines risks undermining investor confidence in the UK, and could ignite a legal backlash against the Government.

The Labour Party believes that the legal precedent set by Northern Rock means it could offer a price below the market value of the company by deducting a range of costs from the final price.

These could be based on the company’s pension fund deficits or by clawing back “state subsidies” awarded to the energy companies since privatisation. The ultimate price tag would also strip out the value of infrastructure which the Government deems in need of repair or redundant.

Under the plans the energy companies will fall under the control of a newly formed public body, the National Energy Agency. The quango will control the energy system while operating the high voltage wires. It will also oversee a matrix of so-called “regional energy agencies” that will advance Labour’s plans to tackle climate change.

The agencies will be tasked with sourcing low carbon or renewable sources for 60pc of all energy use by 2030. They will also oversee the rollout of electric vehicle charging networks and new energy storage projects across the country.

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