Infrastructure (Financial Assistance) Bill
Danny Alexander (Chief Secretary, HM Treasury; Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey, Liberal Democrat)
I am not sure I accept my hon. Friend’s characterisation of quantitative easing. One of the strengths of the tight fiscal policy that this Government have run and will continue to run is precisely that it allows the monetary activism that we have seen in this country and, indeed, in other parts of the world. However, he is right that the purpose of the Bill is to enable infrastructure projects to come forward quickly. That is why one of the key criteria by which we will decide whether to issue a guarantee to a particular project is that it can get under way within 12 months of the guarantee being issued, and that it has the necessary consents in place. This is about bringing forward projects now; it is not about offering guarantees now for projects where nothing will happen for many years to come.