Bishop of St Albans speaks in a debate on the UK Infrastructure Bank Bill

On 14th June 2022, the House of Lords debated the UK Infrastructure Bank Bill in committee. The Bishop of St Albans spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I declare my interest as a vice-president of the Local Government Association and president of the Rural Coalition. I shall speak to Amendment 9, which stands in my name, but I also want to give my broad support to Amendments 6 and 7, which also deal with regional inequalities, and to echo the importance of getting biodiversity and nature into the Bill.

It is telling that London, as the most productive region of the UK, receives a larger per capita amount of public spending compared to other regions of the UK. Productivity relies as much on public investment as it does on private investment but, at the same time, it makes sense economically, from a private perspective, to invest in those areas that receive significant public backing, particularly in areas such as transport. The reality is that government transport spending by region remains heavily skewed towards London, at nearly double the UK average. Hence, it certainly holds that public expenditure is a significant contributory factor to productivity, even if other factors, such as economies of scale and private investment, also play their part.

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