Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Thank you Mr Brown, but what have I done to deserve this kind gift from the taxpayer?

Mr Brown's New Labour, New Capitalist government has given me a handout. Very nice of them to do so but I'm not sure why I have been given such a generous dollop of cash at the expense of the taxpayer. We are shareholders in Northern Rock and yesterday's announcement of super-goldplated absolutely-no-risk-to-shareholders and investors bond issue has certainly helped to push up the price of the shares, on a day when everything else on the stock market was heading in the opposite direction.

Why I should be a deserving case for burdening the taxpayer is beyond me. Personally, I think there are more deserving cases than me for taxpayer handouts. How about those caught in the rising number in poverty over which this government has presided, separated from the wealthy who are getting richer and richer. How about the police who have been denied their full pay rise because there aint enough money.

And if you want to argue that this is a capital rather than revenue issue, think about what £50 billion could mean to solving the affordable housing crisis. How much of the transport system could be modernised with that sort of dosh?

So thank you Mr Brown. I'm not needy but it was nice of you to be so generous to the shareholders of a failed bank, the same bank whose boss before he left towards the end of last year you were happy to hand over £25 billion in cash from the hard pressed taxpayer.

The biggest gainers from yesterday's announcement have been the hedge funds who swooped on Northern Rock when the share price crashed to Rock bottom. Now they are sitting on a tidy and substantial profit.

Mr Brown, you have certainly abandoned what slither of social conscience your party once had. Get rich quick is the new New Labour catchphrase. And getting rich quick at the expense of the taxpayer is Gordon's very own addition to the mess that Labour is now making.

As an economic liberal, I am appalled at the proposals for the state backed bonds for Northern Rock whilst it stays in the private sector. Brown has created a gigantic private sector quango, unaccountable to anyone other than its private sector owners, paid for by the taxpayer but benefitting only a lucky few.

And meanwhile Britain's social divide widens, our transport crumbles and our elderly freeze in homes they can't afford to heat and for which the state has insufficient cash to insulate.

What a shocking state of affairs.

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