Today (9th February) I have written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to oppose the proposed privatisation of the Green Investment Bank.
You can read my letter in full below:
Rt Hon Philip Hammond
Chancellor of the Exchequer
1 Horse Guards Road
9th February 2017
Dear Chancellor of the Exchequer,
Re: Proposed privatisation of the Green Investment Bank
I am writing to express my concerns about the proposed privatisation of the Green Investment Bank (GIB). I do not believe that privatising the GIB is in the public interest, and selling off this invaluable public asset would hugely undermine the Government’s commitment to protecting our environment.
In the government’s own words the GIB, the world’s first investment bank of its kind dedicated to encouraging ‘green’ development, has been successful not only in terms of this important environmental purpose but also as a successful commercial enterprise in its own right.
Since its establishment in 2012 the GIB has invested in 98 separate environmental projects, putting some £3.4 billion into the UK’s green economy. This is not only a very significant sum in and of itself, but also a clear signal that the government is leading by example in upholding a commitment to green business. In many ways the GIB is an important catalyst for investment in the green economy.
As noted by colleagues on the Environmental Audit Committee, there is huge concern that GIB assets are being restructured in order to facilitate future asset-stripping by Macquarie. The original justification for the sale of the GIB was phrased in terms of providing greater access to capital markets and facilitating development.
Whether these sentiments were sincere or not, these aims would certainly not be well served by sale to an asset-stripper with a history of driving projects such as Thames Water and the M6 toll into crippling debt whilst extracting profits for shareholders.
I am asking you to halt this sale and maintain public control over an institution so integral to Britain’s green future. I look forward to a timely response.
Rt Hon David Lammy
Member of Parliament for Tottenham