Scotland Bill - Report (2nd Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:00 pm on 29th February 2016.

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Photo of Lord Empey Lord Empey UUP 7:00 pm, 29th February 2016

I can say to the noble Lord that we raised several times with the Treasury the question of issuing bonds for capital projects. Some people in America who wanted to be helpful said that they would be interested in providing resources. However, the Treasury blocked that on the basis that it would have to go on to the national debt because, unless it was ultimately guaranteed by the Treasury, there would be less likelihood of investors coming forward to take over the bonds. Therefore, the national Government would be required to guarantee the debt. I do not know whether the Treasury is no longer concerned about things going on to the national debt but that used to be the big thing that it wanted to ensure was adhered to. Is the situation here that the Scottish Government’s decisions are effectively being insured? If so, I assure the Minister that there will be others knocking on the door for that insurance policy.