That stake was left well alone during the Coalition years, and for good reason: it was purchased at around £5 a share, and the market value of those shares had not recovered to anything like that level. Also, inflation needed to be taken into account. So it might be expected that no sale would take place until the taxpayer could get, say, £6 per share, and therefore be sure of recouping the cost - in full.
On top of that, Osborne is selling off half the Government’s remaining share in Royal Mail, which only heightens the mood of desperation. If further swingeing cuts to spending are only being kept at bay by flogging state assets, what happens when there are no more of those assets left to flog? Perhaps our free and fearless press would like to comment? Are they on the Chancellor’s case? Well, not as such.
And the Murdoch Sun, while not fixated on Yet More Boobs, told readers with jaw-dropping brass neck that this meant “Bank sell-off £14bn profit”. That’s just crap. What does shadow Chancellor Chris Leslie have to say about that?