The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is now accepting initial offers from those interested in buying the Green Investment Bank (GIB) - a step that is very encouraging for taxpayers. The TPA have been advocating scraping or selling off GIB for a long time now, it even featured in our Spending Plan as part of wider reforms of BIS.
When the shortfall between the government's targets and the actual state of green energy investment was realised (a shortfall of some £200 billion over 10 years) instead of accepting the hint and looking at more cost-effective, productive ways to 'greenify' the economy the Green Investment Bank was born. With taxpayer funding of £3.8 billion the bank was given the mission to invest in innovative, environmentally friendly projects which did not have the support of private markets. It quickly went the way of most other quangos and TaxPayers' Alliance research revealed some eye-wateringly high salaries as well as less than green behaviour, including spending £200,000 in one year on UK flights, double what it made in profit.
But thankfully that will soon be in the past - it's great that the government is finally winding down this chapter of our poor energy policy. We're hopeful that it will start of a trend towards energy policy that works for taxpayers and the environment, rather than just politicians and their targets.
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