Speeches recovered from the Conservative party’s online archive More…

Hague: If Labour won't scrap the Energy Tax, we will

The Labour Government has imposed an extra £5 billion in taxes on business - including hikes in fuel duties, the abolition of dividend tax credits on pension funds, changes to the administration of Corporation Tax and the iniquitous, unwieldy and ultimately futile Climate Change Levy. The Climate Change Levy, or Energy Tax, is a serious threat to manufacturing across Britain and does nothing for the environment.

"The news today from Corus is a tragedy for the people affected by the sweeping job losses. There are families tonight who will be desperately worried about their mortgage payments and their future income, and we owe it to them to try to bring new jobs to the local communities involved.

"The announcement by Corus today is, sadly, not an isolated one. It comes on top of the loss of 300,000 manufacturing jobs since Labour took office. If the Government has learnt anything, then surely it must realise that this is not the time to impose any more unnecessary burdens on British manufacturing. We should be helping manufacturing industry survive, not hastening its demise.

"Today I call on the Government to abandon its Energy Tax, which will cost manufacturing jobs and hit the steel industry hard. And I give you this pledge: if Labour will not abandon the Energy Tax, then the next Conservative Government will abolish it.

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