Dear Chief Secretary to the Treasury,
I'm afraid to tell you there's no money left.
Signed, Liam Byrne

(Outgoing Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury. May 2010)

Monday, 12 October 2009

Bits of England for sale.

The Government has announced, late on a Sunday (article timed 6.56 pm BST in the Telegraph) and the day before Parliament returns from the Summer Recess, that it's going to be selling off bits of England to the highest bidder.

They will be selling :-
Both Dartford Crossings (bridge and tunnel) - part of which were meant to be toll free by now.

The Student Loan Company - that hasn't even managed to "loan" enough money for the current years' students to pay their tuition and accommodation fees.

The Channel Tunnel rail link.

The Tote, about which Mrs R knows absolutely nothing.

A 32% stake in Uranium Mining company Uremco.

A proportion of the state -owned property portfolio - which of course won't cause a property market crash.
They hope to raise a total £16 billion pounds, which should be enough to clear a bit of Britain's current debt - but will leave the country poorer in the long term because income from these sources will no longer land in government coffers, instead it'll go into a private company's pockets. (Mrs R thought Labour preferred socialism to capitalism.)

Of course they won't have made the same mistake as when they sold off the gold, causing the price to plummet, or will they?

Mrs R notes that each of the tangible assets is in England, nothing from either Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland is being sold, and there's no consideration of reducing public spending by, perhaps, reducing payments made to layabouts who can't even be bothered to get out of bed to earn enough to put food on their table.

Asset stripping? Surely not!

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