Amendment 4

Part of Financial Services and Markets Bill - Report (1st Day) – in the House of Lords at 6:45 pm on 6 June 2023.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Naseby Lord Naseby Conservative 6:45, 6 June 2023

My Lords, I welcome Amendment 4. Having listened to my noble friend on the Front Bench in Committee and subsequently, I know that she played a major role in this absolutely vital amendment coming forward.

The noble Baroness, Lady Wheatcroft, was quite right. Let us reflect on two key areas where we desperately need the SDR policy statement. First, in terms of the energy market, is the national grid. Today, all sorts of decisions have to be made by the energy market, whether on nuclear, solar or whatever else. People in that market want to know at what point the national grid will be in a position to be connected to them—that is absolutely key to sustainability.

Secondly, in my judgment, the public in general are confused and have no understanding of what they should do about making their contribution to net zero with the condition of their property. Some of us had a good briefing on that situation from the building society movement today. We must address this. But the principle is here, and I thank my noble friend on the Front Bench for how it has come forward.

I declare an interest as a trustee of the Parliamentary Contributory Pension Fund. Noble colleagues will not be members of it unless they have been in the other place or are ministerial colleagues. Nevertheless, I can assure anybody who knows anything about that particular area that, in my judgment, our fund—given the care and attention paid by its chairman and the members in terms of the time put in freely and the trouble that is taken to ensure that we listen to asset managers, question asset management and challenge the advisers we have—is aware of government policy, whatever it may be. Yes, we welcome guidance and particular in- depth information. But—and this is a very big “but” in capital letters—our primary duty is to the membership and the beneficiaries, and we must never forget that. We are not there to take risks, unless we really have to take them, and we debate these issues.

All I will say in relation to the forestry dimension is that I do not welcome that particular one more than any other. I want concrete material that is of benefit to those who are the beneficiaries. With that, I do not think that I need to say any more.