Government comes under fire for Green Investment Bank sale after claims Macquarie is planning asset-strip

 
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Macquarie is thought to be the government's preferred bidder for the Green Investment Bank (Source: Getty)

The government has come under scrutiny today over the privatisation of the Green Investment Bank.

The Commons Environmental Audit Committee today raised concerns about the proposed sale to Australian investment bank Macquarie, which is believed to be the favoured bidder.

It was reported over the weekend that Macquarie is planning to strip the bank of its prized assets.

Mary Creagh, chair of the committee, accused the government of having “rushed to privatise it without consultation or proper consideration of the alternatives”.

Read more: UK bidder retains hopes of landing Green Investment Bank

“The Green Investment Bank should continue to exist as a low-carbon investor or its sale should not proceed,” she said in a statement.

“Taxpayers do not want to see a repeat of the Royal Mail debacle where public assets were sold at bargain prices, and they do not want to see a landmark British institution sold off to an asset stripper.”

The committee also today published a letter sent to Greg Clark, secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS), in December and raising concerns about the sale.

Read more: Green Investment Bank takes another step towards £2bn privatisation

Nick Hurd, minister of state for the BEIS department, also faced an urgent question from Green MP Caroline Lucas in parliament today.

This was followed by a number of statements of concern from other MPs, including some Tories and Labour shadow business secretary Clive Lewis.

Questioning the sale, Lewis said: “Public good, private bad – that’s what we think on this side. But on that side of the house, you think it’s private good, public bad.”

Earlier this week, Macquarie published a statement talking up its "renewable energy credentials".

The bank said:

Macquarie has a substantial and longstanding commitment to the renewable energy and clean technology sectors as a fund and project manager, adviser, financier, and participant in environmental markets.

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