So after much huffing, puffing and posturing the Green Investment Bank ** is limbering up into existence. We can't really complain because all parties promised this in their respective 2010 manifestos, probably the only thing they agreed upon, that and the notion that evil is a jolly bad thing.
Its ability to borrow has been prudently circumscribed: from 2015, "subject to public sector net debt falling as a percentage of GDP" ... next year, sometime, never. Entertainingly for those who enjoy watching green apoplexy, Dr Vince has allowed that it might be used to provide dosh for flood defences (good), and nukes (bad: let EDF raise its own).
The nuclear angle is interesting. The likely chairman of the GIB (when it gets over various EC hurdles) will be Sir Adrian Montague, who has chaired British Energy and knows a thing or two about manipulating gullible governments into stumping up gigantic but unacknowledged de facto subsidies for nukes. It's an easy trick when you can put HMG's AAA rating against very long-term liabilities, as Gordon PFI Brown knew only too well.
How popular will the GIB be ? "A number of companies have already approached the Department of Business to ask for funding, Mr Cable said." Really ? You amaze us, Vince.
** PS: I don't recommend you download the BIS doc on this, it seems to be some sort of rogue pdf that caused my machine to seize up on each of my 3 attempts