The stratospheric level of taxpayer support handed out during the credit
crunch was laid bear by the National Audit Office report which found an
unprecedented £850bn was earmarked to prop-up the ailing financial sector.
Part share purchases, part guarantees along with insurance and loans, the
report details the list of government support handed out during the past two
According to the report, government support included:
– £37 billion of shares in RBS and Lloyds Banking Group;
– a further £39 billion of shares in both banks;
– Bank of England indemnity against losses incurred in providing over £200
billion of liquidity support;
– guarantees of up to £250 billion of wholesale borrowing by banks;
– approximately £40 billion of loans and other funding to Bradford &
Bingley and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme; and
– insurance cover of more than £600 billion of bank assets, reduced to just over
£280 billion in November 2009.
The report also included a pointed criticism of the government’s failure to
consult with parliament before committing the funds.
Edward Leigh MP, Chairman of the Committee of Public Accounts, said the
chancellor “transgressed” a long established principle.
“It has been an absolute constitutional principle for centuries that
government does not spend money or issue indemnities without informing
Parliament. That principle was transgressed when the Chancellor decided not use
the established protocol of notifying the Chairman of the Public Accounts
Committee and the Chairman of the departmental select committee,” he said.
“The plea that the information was sensitive is irrelevant since disclosure
to us could easily have been made in confidence, in line with customary
practice. Trust in the discretion of the chairmen has never been misplaced in
“I am greatly disturbed over this decision to play fast and loose with
Parliamentary rules – and with the feeble explanation for doing so proffered by
Just when SMEs thought they knew the lie of the land in terms of the Brexit timescale, Theresa May has caught them by surprise. Salvador Amico of Menzies asks how SMEs should react to the news of a snap election on 8 June?
With the general election on 8 June, CIOT has warned against rushing through extensive legislation without adequate scrutiny and an appropriate timeframe to make necessary amendments
UK government should support mid-sized businesses to create a ‘new economy’ post-Brexit, says BDO report
Mid-sized British firms are currently growing faster and generating more profit than their counterparts in Germany, France, Italy and Spain, despite uncertainty surrounding Brexit, says the report
Yet, KPMG’s annual survey shows that the UK is still an attractive place to do business, despite falling in rankings in tax competitiveness and FDI appeal