Spending Review: Osborne puts £1bn in Green Bank

Published:  22 October, 2010

LONDON: The Government announced plans for a green infrastructure bank (GIB) in the comprehensive spending review as Chancellor, George Osborne, vowed to "prioritise public spending likely to spur growth". Nick Appleyard reports.

The £1bn committed to the bank was much lower than anticipated and it was revealed the Department of Energy and Climate Change's budget would fall by 5% a year.

Referring to the GIB, Mr Osborne told the House of Commons: "I hope much more will be raised by the private sector and from the Government's future asset sales."

Feed-in tariffs will be 'refocused' in 2014-15, despite being reportedly lined up for immediate cuts prior to today's announcement. Such a move could have prompted a legal challenge from councils that have planned and invested in renewable electricity infrastructure.

A long-term investment in the nation's flood defences was also pledged despite a revelation that spending at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs would drop by 24% over the Spending Review period.

The Chancellor announced a raft of transport projects – including Crossrail, a new suspension bridge over the Mersey and refurbishments to the Tyne & Wear Metro –would go ahead nationwide amounting to some £30bn over four years.

The Renewable Heat Incentive was given the nod, while the Warm Front programme will be replaced with a Green Deal for energy-efficiency from 2013.

Mr Osborne said: "Long-term investment in the capacity of our transport, our science, our green energy will all help move Britain from its decade-long dependence on one sector of the economy in one part of the country."

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