Sunday, June 26, 2011

Bank Shares for All?

The Centre Forum pamphlet which started all the hoo-hah has rather more detail of the proposed scheme than most newspapers.  What Nick Clegg and other Liberal Democrats are supporting is the idea that once the shares in nationalised banks rise to a price which will cover the cost to the taxpayer of the bailout the remaining profit should be distributed to the people whose taxes bailed them out in the first place.  As always, it's more complicated than that, and the full thinking is in the pamphlet produced by the think tank experts. 

Nick Clegg said, “Taxpayers’ money bailed out the banks. It’s only right that the taxpayers should be given a stake in those banks and a chance to benefit from their future success.”

Mr Clegg has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to ask him to look at the shares plan. The plan has been backed by several other senior politicians.

The blueprint to hand over shares to over 45million adults in the UK has been drawn up by a top city firm and was first launched by Lib Dem MP Stephen Williams in March.

The plans will ensure that the Treasury will get its money back from the banking bailout, but any profits will go directly to the 45million shareholders. If the shares return to previous values of just a few years ago, each person could gain over £1000.

Mr Clegg added, “The British people rightly feel let down by the past behaviour of the banks. With this plan they would own a piece of the banks, have a voice in how they were run and benefit from their future success.” 
Sounds good to me, as long as the publicity surrounding any such deal makes it clear to everyone that we're talking long term here unlike the short term gains that many made on the old privatisations.

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