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 thank my hon. Friend for that constructive observation. He is quite right in his first point—“public good, private bad” could not have been clearer from the Opposition Front Bench. That will have been noted in the business community and across the country, reinforcing the question mark that the country’s business community has about the Labour party’s attitudes towards it.

On the green share and the maintenance of assets, I have set out the mechanisms; I think they are robust, and Parliament agreed that they were. As for so-called asset stripping and the freedom to sell assets, let us not get ourselves into a position in which we view holding assets for ever as a good in itself. I do not think we would want that for the GIB under its current structure. The management of the organisation has to be free to manage a portfolio. As a Government, we have to be practical about the limitations we would place on a private sector bid. I come back to the point that we have been very clear about the criteria we are setting for this sale, and we are looking at proposals by taking a holistic view of those criteria, which include the need for reassurance about the forward plans for the organisation and the level of ambition for mobilising private sector capital into this critical area of clean infrastructure.