Financial Services Bill

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 5:48 pm on 6th February 2012.

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Photo of Edward Balls Edward Balls Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer 5:48 pm, 6th February 2012

I understand my hon. Friend’s point, but to be honest I do not have strong views on that. The reality is that there was not cross-party support or support more widely in civic society for Bank of England independence when we established it. The Conservatives voted against it. In those circumstances, it would have been difficult for the then Government to pass legislation for one eight-year term—there would have been a lot of opposition to the idea of giving one unelected individual such power for an eight-year term. This Bill moves us not only from a four-year to an eight-year term, but gives one individual massively more power than they ever had. That is what concerns me.