Liz Truss has shown her true colours with the public sector pay U-turn - Rachel Reeves

Liz Truss has shown her true colours this week.

The Tory leadership favourite pledged to slash £8.8bn from the pay of our hardworking nurses, teachers, police officers and armed forces – cutting their salaries by an average of £1,500 a year.

What’s worse, her plan would’ve meant lower pay for public sector workers in the North, and higher pay for those in London and the South East. How absurd is that.

After a backlash her campaign tried to claim she was misrepresented, but the truth is that Liz Truss called for this policy as far back as 2018 when she was a Minister in the Treasury.

Liz Truss. Pic: Getty.

It’s clear this is not only what she said but what she really believes.

The consequences would be devastating for communities across Yorkshire.

Her plan for regional pay boards would lower the pay of Northerners, worsening the divide which already exists – a hit of £1.8bn to the Yorkshire economy, as families have less to spend on our high streets and town centres.

At a time when people are struggling to afford even the basics, with energy prices due to rise even higher in a few months’ time, this is not just economically damaging but morally wrong.

It also shows the Tories’ commitment to levelling up is dead on arrival.

Instead, it is levelling down for everyone outside the M25.

This whole debacle shows why she’s not fit to be Prime Minister.

Liz Truss has been at the top table in government for nearly a decade, during which time the Conservatives have allowed Britain to sleepwalk into a cost of living crisis.

And now the Tories are fighting like rats in a sack, indulging in absurd Thatcherite cosplay with no answers for the challenges that face Yorkshire and our country today.

They offer nothing but fantasy economics and unfunded spending commitments.

They fail to see that the only way to build a strong, secure and fair economy is to focus on growth.

That’s why, as Keir Starmer set out in a speech in Liverpool a couple of weeks ago, everything Labour wants for Britain comes back to one central mission: growth, growth, growth.

Because when our economy fires on all cylinders, it helps boost wages, create good jobs, and raise the funds we need to invest in our schools, hospitals, and police.

That’s why the next Labour government will commit to being responsible stewards of our economy, and work in partnership with business. Our growth will be distinctly British, reenergising communities and spreading economic power across our country, including here in Yorkshire, by refocusing investment to boost productivity.

Growth is also crucial in tackling the growing climate emergency.

If we do nothing, climate change will inflict untold destruction on our basic infrastructure, our public services and our economy.

Here in Yorkshire, extreme weather events such as Storm Franklin earlier this year brought the third flood in a decade to Tadcaster.

Only last month Tadcaster was hit again by flash flooding.

Many remember the floods in Kirkstall in 2015/16.

Together they act as a frightening prelude of what’s to come if we don’t take aggressive action to reduce CO2 emissions.

That’s why Labour’s Climate Investment Pledge is so important for unlocking the investment needed to deliver the next generation of green jobs.

Whether that’s insulating homes across the county to save hundreds of pounds on energy bills, massively expanding wind farms like those off the Yorkshire coast at Dogger Bank, or supporting tech companies to develop green innovations to power clean electricity, transport, housing and food – there is so much we can

and must do to face up to the challenge climate change brings and grasp the opportunities for growth along the way.

Yorkshire and the Humber brought us giants of industry such as Morrisons and Marks & Spencer, brands like Fox’s Biscuits and Tetley tea, and manufactured goods like Sheffield steel and Leeds cloth.

Climate change doesn’t need to be the end of this ingenuity, but an opportunity to harness it for more sustainable, environmentally friendly end. Why can’t Leeds be a centre of excellence for green finance? Or Hull a hub for floating offshore wind technology?

The answer is because the Tories ricochet from one position on climate to another.

From Rishi Sunak dragging his feet, to Liz Truss offering warm words on fracking, the Tories offer no credible plan for net zero by 2050.

The Tories’ short-sightedness on climate change and perverse positioning on public sector pay is bad for Yorkshire and bad for Britain.

Only Labour has a serious plan to face the challenges climate change brings and grasp the opportunities for new jobs that will help us get on the path to net zero.

And only Labour has a plan to build the stronger, more secure and fairer economy that Yorkshire needs.