Amendment 19

Part of UK Infrastructure Bank Bill [HL] - Report – in the House of Lords at 6:15 pm on 4th July 2022.

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Photo of Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd Chair, Consolidation, &c., Bills (Joint Committee), Chair, Consolidation, &c., Bills (Joint Committee) 6:15 pm, 4th July 2022

My Lords, I will speak briefly to Amendment 20. I traversed the reasons for this amendment at Second Reading. I traversed them again in Committee. I need not weary your Lordships by traversing them a third time. The points are obvious.

Enlightened departments have now agreed to put into Bills qualifications for the boards of important institutions. One sees that in the Climate Change Act and the Environment Act. It is a great pity that the Treasury is not an enlightened department. It should have a little more humility and appreciate that if you are to run something as important and, ideally, successful as an infrastructure bank, you ought to tick off the qualifications of the board as a whole. I have listed what they should be; they are drawn very carefully from the Climate Change Act and the Environment Act and adapted to ensure what I spoke about earlier; namely, that you have people who come from the devolved nations or who have a knowledge of the devolved nations. This is another way of dealing with the point.

However, having made those arguments, which are obvious and ought to be accepted, I fear that the Treasury is obdurate on this point. I just hope that in due course there will be a more humble and less entrenched view than its omniscient view about its capacity to do everything without some statutory guidance.