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Thursday 2nd August 2012 | 11:04
TaxPayers' Alliance press release
Commenting on reports that ministers and civil servants have discussed buying up the remaining 18 per cent of RBS in order to fully nationalise the bank at a cost of £5 billion, Matthew Sinclair, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:
"This is a dangerous proposal which the Chancellor should quash immediately.
"Taxpayers have already paid billions to prop up this bank, and the idea that they should shell out even more to buy the rest is absurd. Not only would the one-off cost be unaffordable when spending reductions have to be made, but this would hugely increase taxpayers' exposure to risk and land all of the bank's bad debts squarely on their shoulders.
"Hard-working families shouldn't have had to bail out the bank in the first place, and spending even more of their money buying up these shares would take us in completely the wrong direction. Politicians should stop trying to play banker and instead should sell the shares and give taxpayers their money back.
"If the Government wants banks to lend again, it needs to take action on the costs to businesses that are making banks nervous about lending in the first place. Let's not forget that the financial crisis was caused by reckless lending, so the Government shouldn't be wasting taxpayers' money trying to force banks to issue more risky loans."