Bishop of London responds to government statement on building safety

The Bishop of London asked for clarification on whether the government would bring forward legislation to ensure that polluters would pay for building issues, during a debate following a government statement on building safety on 11th January 2022:

The Lord Bishop of London: My Lords, like many others, I welcome this Statement, because clearly, it is a move in the right direction. I too pay tribute to those who have campaigned with tenacity to try to resolve what is an awful situation for people’s lives. I may just be slow, but I would really appreciate the Minister clarifying whether the Government will bring forward legislation in the Building Safety Bill to ensure that the polluter pays, and not the taxpayer or the leaseholder.

Lord Greenhalgh (Con): The right reverend Prelate is not being slow; if you are the Bishop of London, you have to be pretty quick. As a backstop, we have committed to look at solutions that involve tax, which is a Treasury matter—it has been very clear about that—or legal means to do these things. I am well aware of the work that has been done by Steve Day, supported by many experts, in bringing forward the polluter pays proposal. My personal view, as a humble Minister, is that we need a building-by-building assessment of liability if we are to ensure that the polluter pays. But that is down the road, and the sequence is: voluntary contributions first, and some of these other things are being positioned as backstops.


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