Lord Berkeley – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Lord Berkeley on 2016-04-18.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government when the Minute to Parliament describing the contingent liability with an indicative value of up to £500 million, as created by the Market Disruption Facility agreed and signed by the Secretary of State and Bazalgette Tunnel Limited on 24 August 2015 in connection with the Thames Tideway Tunnel project was published, in the light of the fact that the potential exposure of the public purse exceeds £300,000; and when a Minute to Parliament was published in respect of the further contingent liability created by the Secretary of State in connection with the same project through his agreement to the Contingent Equity Support Agreement, signed on the same day with the same party, in the light of the fact that the liability could be as great or greater than that in the Market Disruption Facility.

Lord Gardiner of Kimble

Defra did not submit departmental Minutes on the various limbs of the Government’s contingent financial support package for the Thames Tideway Tunnel because the Secretary of State has statutory authority to give financial assistance for major water or sewerage infrastructure projects under section 154B of the Water Industry Act 1991. This is consistent with the approach set out in HM Treasury’s guidance, Managing Public Money, paragraph A5.4.21 & Box A5.4C.