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Balls calls for GIB borrowing certainty

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls has pledged that low carbon energy will be central to Labour’s plans if it is elected.

Balls said ahead of a Green Alliance debate last night that getting energy policy right for the next 20 years was the biggest opportunity facing the economy.

He renewed Labour calls for the Green Investment Bank (GIB) to be given full borrowing powers from 2015.

Business secretary Vince Cable said in June that the GIB would be able to borrow up to £500m from a government lending fund in 2015/16.

Cable said this was the first step in allowing the bank to access debt capital market funding. But, writing in New Statesman, Balls said this was not enough.

“The government should end the current uncertainty and commit now to giving the Green Investment Bank borrowing powers in 2015,” said the shadow chancellor.

“If it fails then the next Labour government will do so as soon as possible after the next election, so that the Green Investment Bank can help to raise our ambition on energy efficiency to insulate homes, cut fuel poverty, bring down bills, create jobs and stimulate the economy in the process.”

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