Spending Review 2020

My Lords, I very much welcome the spending review and its priorities of protecting lives and livelihoods, strengthening public services and investing in infrastructure. The climate change emergency will be our next biggest challenge. I am pleased that there is significant funding for a green industrial revolution.

I declare an interest as co-chair of the APPG on Islamic Finance. Islamic finance can play a role in the green industrial revolution. As we will issue our first sovereign green bonds in 2021, will my noble friend the Minister consider the issuance of green sovereign sukuks?

Supporting the private sector is essential to building back the economy. Businessmen and entrepreneurs must be given the freedom to drive our economy. Does my noble friend agree that supporting the private sector is the way forward?

I have travelled to many overseas countries, and I know that what we do abroad is very much appreciated and productive. I was disappointed that ODA has been reduced to 0.5%. Can my noble friend the Minister confirm that this will be reviewed periodically?

I welcome the funding to recruit 20,000 additional police officers by 2023. What plans do the Government have to recruit an appropriate number from the BAME community?

During the pandemic, we have seen a rise in mental health issues. Can my noble friend the Minister outline how he will ring-fence money for mental health services within NHS funding?

I have a connection with the charity sector, and I note that there will be a rationing of the Office for Civil Society. Can my noble friend explain what support will be given to charities, as they are suffering financially?

Finally, as someone who supports the Armed Forces, I am happy to see that an additional £24 billion will be invested in national security over the next four years.

Link to full debate on Hansard