North Wales Assembly Member Mark Isherwood AM - FIRST MINISTER CHALLENGED OVER NATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE COMMISSION FOR WALES
Press release /Datganiad i’r wasg
Wednesday November 23rd 2016
North Wales Assembly Member Mark Isherwood has challenged the First Minister this week over the National Infrastructure Commission, which will provide advice and recommendations on Wales’ long-term infrastructure needs.
Speaking in the Assembly Chamber this week, Mr Isherwood said:
“The Welsh Government Consultation Document on the Commission makes it clear that the Commission would be advisory and non-statutory, and that Ministers would retain control over investment decisions. If, as you’ve just indicated, the evolution of Finance Wales into a Development Bank for Wales might incorporate some Infrastructure Bank functions, how will you ensure that it complies with the Sustainable Development Principle implemented by the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, given that we understand from evidence to Committee (The Assembly Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee) that it won’t be bound by Bank of England prudential requirements or EU rules on capital requirements requiring risk-sensitive and enhanced risk management?”
The First Minister replied: “That’s correct, but we expect all public bodies to adhere to the principles of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 and its seven goals. With regard to the progress of the Development Bank, that progress is going well in order to achieve the correct certification so the bank can operate, and we’re confident, of course, that it’s on time.”
Mr Isherwood added “The Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure is currently evaluating a business plan from Finance Wales with a view to the Development Bank for Wales being up and running in the second half of 2017, and increasing investment levels to £80 m per annum within five years. It is therefore concerning that the First Minister did not answer the question I asked him.”