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Shadow Chancellor meets GMB members at hydrogen house

By staff - GMB Union, March 18, 2022

Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves met GMB member as she visits the Northern Gas Network’s model hydrogen house in Gateshead to discuss energy security and the cost of living crisis.   

Rachel Reeves MP will travel by hydrogen bus to a Northern Gas Network model ‘hydrogen house’, where she will fry an egg on a hydrogen-powered stove. 

GMB has long called for more investment in hydrogen fuels, which could use the existing gas network, protecting well paid, unionised gas jobs and save the planet. 

Chris Jukes, GMB Senior Organiser, said: 

“This Government’s lack of any kind of coherent energy strategy has left us in the grip of a cost-of-living crisis so gruesome millions of workers can’t afford to put the heating on. 

“The systematic dismantling of the UK’s gas storage capacity has left households at the mercy of global markets and despotic regimes. 

“Hydrogen fuels offer a genuine hope for the future - a chance to safeguard jobs and industry whilst reducing our carbon footprint.

“We can protect the existing gas infrastructures while protecting well paid, unionised gas jobs here in the North East. 

“Hydrogen is crucial to meeting our net zero targets and crucial for ensuring a proper transition for gas workers.” 

Rachel Reeves MP, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, said: 

“Energy prices and the cost of living crisis has been spiralling since September, but the Conservatives are failing to act.   
“All the Chancellor is offering is a buy now, pay later loan on soaring energy bills – and their unfair National Insurance hike will make things even worse. 

“Not only that but we’re seeing no movement for the government on boosting our energy security.

“We’re uniquely exposed to the global gas crisis, because of a decade of dither and delay from the Conservatives. They’ve failed to meet the vast potential of British renewable and nuclear energy, failed to make more homes warm and well-insulated, and failed to properly regulate our energy market, leading to dozens of energy companies going bust. 

“Hydrogen has a crucial role to play in heating homes, powering industry and creating good jobs here in the UK. The government needs to be more ambitious with its targets and trials to help grow this key sector and meet our energy needs in a lower carbon world. 

“The fact that the North East is going to be hit harder once again underlines how it’s all talk and no action on levelling up from this government. 
“Businesses and the economy in the North East are crucial to our economic recovery – this is not the time to put yet another burden on them. 

“It’s time to get a grip. The Chancellor must halt the National Insurance hike before it’s too late, and look again at a one-off windfall tax on North Sea oil and gas producer profits to cut home energy bills by up to £600.”

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