George Osborne may have many reasons for selling off state assets, but his promised great divestment is not free of long-term costs

George Osborne wasted no time after the Conservatives were returned to power in May before signalling that flogging off public assets would be a key part of his strategy for paying down government debt. Royal Mail, and a parcel of development land around Kings Cross, were quickly earmarked for the block on 4 June. Royal Bank of Scotland is now to follow.

When Osborne announced the Royal Mail sell-off in parliament, he lumped it together with in-year spending cuts to Whitehall departments, to come up with a total of £4.5bn. Yet as the killjoys at the Institute for Fiscal Studies quickly pointed out, the two approaches – spending cuts and privatisations – are rather different.

Continue reading…
Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS