Green Investment Bank

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:40 pm on 11th January 2017.

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Photo of Nick Hurd Nick Hurd The Minister of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy 12:40 pm, 11th January 2017

I will pass over the bizarre claim that the GIB is a Labour success story by virtue of its simply being mentioned in a 2010 manifesto, with nothing done for 13 years in government prior to that. This meant that in 2010, we started with far too low levels of clean energy in this country—a situation transformed by the coalition Government. Again, I caution Members against making assumptions on the basis of speculation in the media, and I am not going to comment on that or identify any bidders.

The hon. Gentleman reflects the different view across the House about the benefits and values of the private sector. He should be aware, holding the position that he does, that we need to mobilise a huge amount of private capital. It is private capital, not public capital, that is going to make the difference when it comes to the big shift in infrastructure. What he misses is the critical role that the state has played in setting up the GIB to correct a market failure. The fact that we have run a competitive process and that private sector bidders have come up and said, “We want to buy this as a going concern because of its green specialism”, indicates that the market failure has, to a large extent, been corrected. The fact that this institution has mobilised billions of pounds of private capital into this critically important area of infrastructure is a success story. Our whole instinct now is that because we want it to do more, it will do more and be an even more successful institution in the private sector as a going concern.