Skip to comments.UK: Treasury in state-owned assets sell-off
Posted on 11/22/2008 9:09:48 PM PST by bruinbirdman
A STRING of state-owned household names including the Met Office, mapmaker Ordnance Survey and the Forestry Commission, are being prepared for sale by the government in the next two years to raise cash for the stretched public purse.
Alistair Darling, the chancellor, is thought to have drawn up a list of 10 companies to offload, including the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in Westminster. He will outline the programme in the prebudget report tomorrow alongside details of a Whitehall efficiency drive.
Several companies will now be groomed for sale by the Shareholder Executive, the body charged with improving the governments performance as a shareholder.
Gordon Brown set a target of raising £36 billion from disposals by 2011. More than £18 billion has been raised so far, much of it by offloading surplus land and property.
The current financial turmoil means it is far from an ideal time to be selling assets. It is also a sensitive time to streamline assets for sale if that means job losses. A renewed disposal programme will draw comparisons with Browns cut-price gold bullion sale in 1999.
Many of the smaller assets being considered for sale were sized up by the Conservatives in the mid-1990s, when Lord Heseltine succeeded in privatising the commercial arm of the Atomic Energy Authority but failed to sell the Forestry Commission.
Channel 4 is excluded for the moment but will be assessed by the new communications minister, Lord Carter, before a decision is made. A backlog of maintenance will probably keep British Waterways from being sold, while the Royal Mint and the Land Registry are more likely to be offloaded.
(Excerpt) Read more at business.timesonline.co.uk ...
The Third Way doesn't work.
While the US Gov’t is busy nationalizing our largest banks and financial co’s.
Does that indicate that, with insolvency of the US government, they will then have to eventually sell those previously nationalized assets in order to raise funds? Who, then, purchases these formerly nationalized assets? Isn’t that how the Russian oligarchy became extremely wealthy? Isn’t this just institutionalized looting?
Following all these twists and turns induces vertigo.
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