Fancy some free money? The Government’s dishing it out...

8 March 2011

will we eventually get cash out of the banks?

Or at least it will be if LibDem MP Stephen Williams (Bristol West) has his way. He is chair of the LibDem Treasury Parliamentary committee and he thinks the Government’s shares in banking giants Lloyds TSB and RBS should be dished out to the public, who can sell them and pocket any profit.

Now that the banks’ fortunes seems to be turning, even if Barclays head honcho *only* received remuneration of £9million for 2010 (come on now, I am sure he works really hard for it) becoming a shareholder in the banks could prove to be a nice little earner for the 45 million adults (children don’t count, sorry) who would benefit under the proposals.

The plan is for each adult on the electoral role to receive 1,484 shares in RBS and 456 in Lloyds with a "floor" price set, so that they could not be sold until they had passed the price paid by the Government when it bailed out the two banks at the height of the financial crisis. On sale, the Government would receive proceeds up to the floor price, to make sure the country got its money back, with individuals keeping any gains made above that level.

If for example the floor price was set at 50.5p for RBS and 74p for Lloyds - the average paid by the Government - and their shares rose to 75p and £1.10p, the profit per person would be more than £500. That’s each. In free money.

The proposals also suggest a share dealing account is set up for every individual, with a default option to sell the shares on their behalf within two to three years, although people could opt out and trade the shares themselves. Speaking on Radio 2 yesterday Stephen Williams described the measure as a way for the public to get back some of what everyone had lost through the financial crisis.

However, the naysayers have been sticking their beak in and there have been many obstacles put forward- whether the shares should only be received by taxpayers, rather than citizens, whether bankrupts or higher rate taxpayers should be excluded, and my own personal favourite, that giving people  shares in only 2 companies does not encourage a risk diversified portfolio and would confuse the majority of the population. What's confusing about free money?

Of course, despite being part of the Government, the LibDems’ proposal is not at all sure of adoption, but surely Dave, who wants us all to be in it together, will chuck some free cash our way. And if not, we will all want to know why not...

TOPICS:   Banking   Tax   Government


  • The B.
    So what they're saying is if you've sat on your arse and never paid tax during your entire life you get free shares, sounds great. PS This is relevant and I'm fully aware that this isn't the Daily Mail website despite what the dullwitted amongst you might think.
  • Marky M.
    Not gonna happen. Dave "You're all in this together" Cameron receives too much funding from the banks and their lobbyists. You think the grubby public would be allowed a say? One sniff of that and the bank will threaten to leave London, like HSBC did at the weekend. And given that finance is our only industry now, that'll never be allowed.
  • kreig
    Also if you happened to not be on the electoral role for what ever reason, you would lose out. Why would they do this? The government should just sell the shares themselves and net the profit as and when they can. give us the public back some money by simply not having to increase taxes due to the extra revenue. A break on some of the fuel tax would not hurt! Think of the administration cost of setting all of this up also. Crazy idea.
  • klingelton
    I'm a tax paying worker of the united kingdom. Screw the rest of you - i want free money. Tough shit to those fuckers who can't be arsed to haul their tracksuit covered arses out of bed in a morning and go to work. Tough titties to those caravan inhabiting irosh fuckwits that stole my bin last week.
  • Richard
    So say this happens, result: Shares prices rise - shares sold - everyones income rises by say 2% - inflationary pressure occurs leading to 2% increase in inflation - money goes back to government as an inflationary tax.
  • Wilko
    Higher rate taxpayers may be excluded? Fuck off, why should I miss out when I paid more towards the bank bailout in the first place? It should be based upon HOW MUCH tax you paid in the financial year that the bailouts happened - the more tax you paid, the more shares you get. Simples.
  • hippy
    no point getting all worked up about this cos its not going to happen. The government is quick to take money off us, but will fight tooth and nail to give any back cs they might need to go without a new pool or some platinum tooth picks etc
  • ngih t.
    The government is quick to take money off us, but will fight tooth and nail to give any back cs they might need to go without a new pool or some platinum tooth picks et

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