David Cameron has written to his Ministers wanting to know how much property the government has.
Guessestimates range from £370 billion to half a trillion pounds.
A Daily Telegraph report says:
“The Government’s property plan …. coincides with a crackdown on Whitehall waste being spearheaded by Bhs-owner Sir Philip Green.
The retail entrepreneur will publish his report into how civil servants have wasted hundreds of millions of pounds through such things as renting empty offices and allowing each police force to source its own uniforms.
The previous government commissioned Labour peer Lord Carter of Coles to report on the value locked up in state-owned property.
He found it could expect to make about £20bn from disposals over the next 10 years and a further £5bn in annual savings by the end of the period.”
It looks like the Government are thinking much bigger than this. They will probably sell tens of billions more on the FTSE.
A bit like the 1980s privatisation spree (remember Sid from British Gas)?
It will be portrayed as ‘giving it back to the people’ i.e. have your chunk of mortar from the Big Society.
I wonder how many peoplw will have the money to buy shares when they cannot even find the deposit for a property of their own.
So, it will be sold cheap (apparently to tempt Joe Public) but end up with some of the middle class and more likely big institutions and, of course, Sovereign Wealth Funds.
In the process, banks will make money as intermediaries.
Isn’t it nice that we have billionaire Philip Green advising us on property and waste too?