All this talk about cutting public spending and reforming the welfare state, tightening our belts and the like for several years to come, just doesn’t make sense.
Okay, I do understand that our National Debt is a nightmare inducing £900 billions and more and that we really do need to pay this money back but, as far as I understand it, the total amount paid out in the bank bail out is over £1 trillion (someone correct me if I’m wrong, after all I’m only a lowly housewife).
Isn’t most of this in the form of bank shares purchased? Don’t we as tax payers now own or part own most of the banks in the UK? Or have I got it totally wrong.
Everything I have read or remember hearing, refers to the bailout in terms of the Government (and thereby the taxpayer) buying a large percentage of shares in the various banks, for example: 84% RBS, 41% in Lloyds and in the case of Northern Rock, 100%.
This year the banks have been reporting huge profits which have generated several billions in profit for the Government already (£10 billions by April this year so I understand). A mere drop in the ocean, I know but every little helps (now who says that?). It’s a start.
But this is the crux of it, isn’t it? Whilst ever we ‘own’ shares in the banks, the Treasury will collect a percentage of the profits, not forgetting the cut to the tax man and, as the banks continue to grow in confidence, so will the profit. Meanwhile we the tax payers, will be expected to continue to tighten our belts and put up with severely depleted services while the bankers receive bonuses at ridiculously extortionate and utterly undeserved levels.
So when will the Treasury say ‘enough is enough’ and ‘now is the time to sell’?
When people start to die because, despite assurances and promises to the contrary, management decide that front line positions are over staffed and need to be ‘thinned out’ before administration and management personnel?
It appears that ‘management’ believe that the Humber Port areas of Goole, Hull, Grimsby and Immingham, the latter being the site of massive fuel refineries by the way, don’t need a large fire service! Surely two engines amongst them all is sufficient?
Okay an exaggeration but it is fact that the front line resources in the fire service in the critical area, are being decimated and let’s not even factor in the miles of motorway that need to be covered. Just how thin can you spread your resources before the monetary cost becomes less important than the human cost?
And it’s not just the fire service: it’s the police, hospitals, the ambulance service. I wonder how many police, paramedic, nurse and fire-fighter salaries could be paid out of the total bonuses to be awarded to bankers in wholly or part-owned banks?
Personally, I believe that the proposed cuts and reforms, no matter how unpalatable, would be more readily accepted if the general public that they were being fairly treated.
Bankers in the part or wholly state owned banks, for instance, are, in my opinion, the same as public sector workers, up until the moment the Government finally gets around to selling its’ stake in them and should, therefore, be treated the same as every other Civil Servant or Public Sector worker in the country – that is to say, no bonus!