Chancellor selling Eurostar
With that, George Osborne is going to sell its 40% stake in Eurostar before the election.
Gideon says that he's looking for bid by the end of this month and hopes that the privatisation of the Channel tunnel train operator will raise £300m for the country. Looks like we're selling a company that is making a profit (£18.6m last year and £16.3m the year before).
Of course, selling a profitable business is not a new thing or indeed, a bad idea. However, you can't help but wonder if we're all looking at a repeat of the absolute farce that was the Royal Mail sell-off.
Today, Osborne will say: “I am determined that we go on making the decisions to reform the British economy and tackle our debts. So we will proceed with the potential sale of the UK’s shareholding in Eurostar today. Ensuring we can deliver the best quality infrastructure for Britain and the best value for money for the taxpayer are key parts of our long-term economic plan."
"As part of our aim to achieve £20bn from asset sales by 2020, the sale proceeds would make an important contribution to the task of reducing the public sector debt."
Here's a thing - Britain's national debt is £1.4tn, so the sale of Eurostar isn't going to make much of a dent and, of course, privatising railways hasn't really worked out for everyone.