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Clarity needed over benefits green investment will bring to Wales - Mick Bates AM

March 25, 2010 12:00 AM

Following the 2010 budget announcement which outlined a number of measures to support renewable developments, Welsh Liberal Democrat AM Mick Bates is calling for clarity over what this investment will mean for Wales and the benefits it will bring to the Welsh economy.

A key proposal announced by Chancellor Alistair Darling under the 2010 budget is the setting up a Green Bank controlling £2bn of equity to focus on investing in greener, cleaner energy and transport - first on wind turbines.

Commenting, Montgomeryshire AM Mick Bates has welcomed the investment but calls for clarity over what it will mean for Wales:

"The establishment of a 'Green Bank' to stimulate private sector investment in our national infrastructure is a welcome move. Our infrastructure is currently rated 34th in the world so there is clearly much work to be done.

"Last year the Liberal Democrats announced plans to create a National Infrastructure Bank which we believe would encourage investment in infrastructure to create jobs, increase competitiveness, promote environmental sustainability and boost the economic recovery. It seems that the UK Government is finally realising that the Liberal Democrats are the party with the most progressive policies and is playing catch up on our ideas.

"The Policy Exchange estimates that £500bn needs to be spent over the next decade on transport, energy storage, broadband and transmissions systems. The £2bn of equity outlined in the budget is a drop in the ocean compared to the investment needed, but it is a step in the right direction.

"It is crucial now that we find out what this will mean for Wales, how much of this money we will receive and how the bank will operate here to ensure it brings maximum benefits to Wales. Welsh businesses must be first in line for the procurement of work developing our infrastructure in Wales, which would bring a real boost to our Welsh economy."