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When is Rachel Reeves speech at Labour conference 2023? Date, start time and how to watch a livestream

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves will give her Labour conference speech today, in which she will pledge to revamp the UK’s “antiquated” planning system to “get Britain building again”.

She will also say that a Labour government would be prepared to borrow to invest, but only within her fiscal rules, which she will stick to with “iron discipline”.

The speech comes after Ms Reeves spoke out against the recent attacks by Hamas in Israel, saying “the whole of the Labour Party stand by the people of Israel at this moment”.

She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that Gaza is “not occupied by Israel” and the violence in the region was caused by a “terrorist attack”.

What time is Rachel Reeves’ speech?

The shadow chancellor will address the conference hall at ACC Liverpool at 12 noon on Monday.

Deputy leader Angela Rayner gave her speech on Sunday, while Sir Keir Starmer will deliver his keynote on Tuesday.

How can I watch live?

There will be a full livestream of Ms Reeves’ speech right here on this page.

You can also watch it live on Labour’s YouTube channel here, where it will also be posted in full after the event.

What will Rachel Reeves say?

Speaking to broadcasters ahead of her address, Ms Reeves reiterated her commitment to fiscal responsibility ahead of a possible general election next year.

She set out her rules as paying for day-to-day expenditure through tax receipts, getting debt down as a share of the economy “and then only subject to that will we invest in things that are going to grow our economy”.

“We will only borrow if it is consistent with those fiscal rules,” she said, adding that could be “if debt is coming down by the end of the Parliament”.

Pressed on whether she would allow borrowing to invest if she enters No 11, she said: “As all countries do and as this Government does today. We will take it up to the level that is needed to compete internationally.”

The Labour frontbencher said the £28bn the party plans to eventually invest annually in a green energy transition is “not all additional money”.

Asked where the cash would come from, she said: “Obviously, the Government is already spending money on some of these projects – the battery factory that they announced a few weeks ago. So, this is not all additional money.

“It is the total spending we want to see to help us secure for Britain these jobs in the industries of the future.”

Earlier, the director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies said it would be “very hard” to improve public services without additional tax rises.

Asked if Labour could stick to their spending plans without substantial rises in taxes, Paul Johnson told the Today programme: “I’m not convinced that either a Labour or a Conservative government could do that.”

He said Labour’s plans to improve public services and the welfare system would be “very hard indeed” without “some tax rises, at least in the short run until and unless growth really does change”.

Ms Reeves responded by saying Labour’s top priority is growing the economy, because “if we were growing now at the same rate that we did in the 13 years of Labour government, then we would have tens of billions of pounds more without raising a single tax to invest in our public services”.

In her speech to Labour’s annual gathering, Ms Reeves will outline plans to modernise the UK’s creaking infrastructure as part of efforts to boost growth.

Planning applications would be fast-tracked for battery factories, laboratories and 5G infrastructure under the proposals.

She will tell the conference: “Labour’s task is to restore hope to our politics. The hope that lets us face the future with confidence, with a new era of economic security because there is no hope without security.”

She will say voters face the choice of “five more years of the Tory chaos and uncertainty, which has left working people worse off or a changed Labour Party ready to strengthen Britain’s foundations, so working people are better off”.

Her speech comes after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak cancelled the HS2 rail line north of Birmingham due to spiralling costs and repeated delays.

The shadow Chancellor will claim Labour would form “a government siding with the builders not the blockers”.

Ms Reeves will say decision times for major infrastructure projects have increased by 65 per cent since 2012, now taking four years, and will promise a “once-in-a-generation” set of reforms to speed this up.

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