Amendment 19

Part of UK Infrastructure Bank Bill [HL] - Report – in the House of Lords at 6:00 pm on 4th July 2022.

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Photo of Lord Tunnicliffe Lord Tunnicliffe Shadow Spokesperson (Defence), Shadow Spokesperson (Treasury), Shadow Minister (Transport) 6:00 pm, 4th July 2022

My Lords, in Committee we had a wide-ranging debate about the bank’s board and whether the Bill should include requirements about its composition, expertise, and so on. Responding, the Minister said that she could understand my temptation to have a workers’ representative on the board but asserted that it was not necessary for several reasons.

During our very helpful follow-up discussions, we have discussed the various processes being followed by the bank as it constitutes its board. I have been assured that my concerns will be dealt with in due course, though it is not clear exactly how and when. I have therefore re-tabled the amendment that I tabled in Committee to give the Treasury another opportunity to explain the position. If it were the Labour Party setting up this institution, we would ensure that the board contained at least one non-executive director responsible for representing the views of workers. Having those views aired would improve the quality of jobs created through the bank’s investments.

I will not pre-empt the noble and learned Lord, Lord Thomas, in relation to his Amendment 20, but it is fair to say that there is genuine concern across Your Lordships’ House when it comes to the effectiveness of this board. I hope that the Minister can offer a degree of reassurance today and perhaps commit to providing updates on the bank’s appointments, as and when they are confirmed. I beg to move.