Press Release: Chancellor should follow RBS sell-off with £40bn in state privatizations

For further comments or to arrange an interview, contact Head of Communications Kate Andrews: kate@adamsmith.org | 07584 778207. Following the government’s RBS share sell-off, Deputy Director of the Adam Smith Institute Sam Bowman said:

The Chancellor is right to begin selling off its stake in RBS this week. The shares are worth what they are worth now, and it is a fantasy to assume that holding on to them longer will inevitably lead to a higher sell price down the road. But Mr Osborne should go much, much further.

In 2013 the Adam Smith Institute identified over £40bn in government assets that could be sold off by 2018 to raise funds to reduce the national debt. This included the government's stake in Urenco and a minority stake in Network Rail, as well as £23bn of government-owned real estate in needlessly expensive parts of the country.

The 'selling off the family silver' argument does not work if useful resources are being misused. A new wave of privatizations would help to move government real estate and other inefficiently-held assets to where they can be used most effectively for the public good.

Notes to Editors:

Click here to download ASI report Cash in the Attic: Realising the proceeds from government-owned property.

The Adam Smith Institute is a free market, libertarian think tank based in London. It advocates classically liberal public policies to create a richer, freer world.