Clause 10 - Interpretation

UK Infrastructure Bank Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:30 pm on 22nd November 2022.

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Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Peter Bone Peter Bone Conservative, Wellingborough

With this it will be convenient to discuss the following:

Government amendment 7.

Clause 11 stand part.

Photo of Andrew Griffith Andrew Griffith The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

I hope that this discussion is largely technical and not subject to controversy. Clause 10 sets out the definitions for various terms that are used in the Bill, such as financial assistance, local authority and relevant public authorities. Financial assistance is defined in a broadly similar way to the definition in other legislation, such as the Infrastructure (Financial Assistance) Act 2012, but also reflects the specific priorities of the bank. It is intended to be a broad and inclusive definition in line with the potential diversity of the bank’s investment activities.

The Bill contains provisions stating that the bank is able to provide loans to relevant public authorities, and the clause defines public authorities to include Northern Ireland Departments, as well as local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales, and district councils in Northern Ireland. That is indicative of our commitment that the bank should work to deliver collaboratively and UK-wide, taking into account different infrastructure financing landscapes.

Government amendment 7 is a privilege amendment, as is standard for a Bill that begins its passage in the Lords and concerns matters of public finance. A privilege amendment was passed; given the Bill is now in the Commons, I have tabled an amendment to remove it that is purely technical. Clause 11 confirms that the Bill extends to England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and the point at which it will come into force, which will be two months after Royal Assent.

Photo of James Murray James Murray Shadow Financial Secretary (Treasury) 2:45 pm, 22nd November 2022

It is a privilege to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Bone, and to speak to this important but uncontroversial aspect of the Bill. As we have heard, clause 10 concerns interpretation. We do not oppose the definition of “activities”, “financial assistance”, “infrastructure”, “local authority”, “objectives” or “relevant public authorities”.

Clause 11 is a short clause concerning the extent and commencement of the Bill, as well as providing its short title. It stipulates that the Act extends to England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The legislation comes into force two months after the date on which it is passed, and it is to be cited as the UK Infrastructure Bank Act 2022. Government amendment 7 simply removes the privilege amendment inserted by the Lords, and is a procedural necessity that we have no reason to oppose.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 10, as amended, accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.