Brighton MP criticises plan to sell off Green Investment Bank

Posted On 26 Jun 2015 at 10:09 am

The Green MP for Brighton Pavilion Caroline Lucas has called for an urgent debate on the government’s plan to sell off the Green Investment Bank.

She asked for the debate in the House of Commons yesterday (Thursday 25 June) at Business Questions when she said: “May we have an urgent debate on the government plans to sell off a majority stake in the Green Investment Bank – a move that will damage investor confidence, set back the low-carbon economy, and, crucially, undermine the very reason for setting up the bank, which was to lever private investment by de-risking it?”

Caroline Lucas

Caroline Lucas

The Conservative Leader of the Commons Chris Grayling said: “I am not surprised to hear the honourable lady’s concerns given her views.

“I believe that it is far better for an organisation like the Green Investment Bank to be able to stand on its own two feet.

“If it can function as an effective organisation without the need for taxpayer support, that is surely a good thing.

“It is a sign that investment in green business, green industries and green technologies is becoming more and more mainstream in the investment world.”

The sale was announced by Mr Grayling’s cabinet colleague Sajid Javid, the Business Secretary, at the bank’s annual review meeting yesterday.

Caroline Lucas was widely quoted beforehand saying: “The government’s rash and irresponsible plan to sell off a large chunk of the Green Investment Bank calls into question their commitment to investing in a low-carbon economy.

“At precisely the time when we should be leading the world in the fight against climate change our government appears to be in retreat.

“The government should keep at least a majority stake in the Green Investment Bank to ensure investor confidence is upheld and the commitment to low-carbon lending remains.”

The bank was set up by the Conservatives in 2012. It has put £2 billion of public money into about 50 green infrastructure projects and more than half a dozen funds in about 240 locations around the country.

  1. Gerald Wiley Reply

    Caroline can ask for a debate, but as she is only 1 MP in over 600, I imagine the government can just treat her request in the same way that she asked for changes to MP pensions and be told to ‘go away’.

    To me, moving the Green Bank (please let it be renamed the Environmental Bank) into the private sector where business cases and cost justifications are included is an eminently sensible idea.

    • HJarrs Reply

      Any MP is only 1 MP in over 600! For the Tories and Labour, only the top Ministers and Shadow Ministers have any clout.

      Lucas certainly has more impact than your normal backbencher like her neighbouring MPs.

      You should read her book. Many examples of pragmatic cross-party working, where she lead on forming coalitions of MPs; like in trying to reform voting, which takes and wastes up 250 hours a year for the average MP, but could be done in 50. Of course the Executives of the parties that you have recently voted for like it the way it is to keep our representatives in their place.

  2. Gerald Wiley Reply

    @Napoleon – you surely gest!

    I imagine Empress Lucas’s book is compulsory reading for her loyal disciples, but I’ve much more important things to do with my life, and other more mature, responsible, authors who I would have more trust in.

    I mean, who would edify someone who sits in the road to protest about fracking; wears T-shirts with slogans to parliamentary debates about feminism; and turns up to Westminster doing s ‘show and tell’ of what she did at the weekend.

    Then, of course, we can’t forget that her acute technical mind means that she supports quackery such as homeopathy and crystal magic.

    I understand she didn’t fare too well at the anti-austerity meetings where she was upstaged by Russell Grant and Christ Church.

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