Unison agrees with TaxPayers’ Alliance

As I write, Brown is addressing the TUC Congress (I think). Unions have been drafting questions which hand-picked members of theirs are ready to ask him. Which questions get asked is down to the TUC president and officials, but I thought it’d be interesting to find out what the questions were.

I didn’t get very far, but I did manage to extract from Unison that they were planning to ask Brown if he will “make the bankers” pay; that is, ensure that they pay back the money they were bailed out with. (General secretary Dave Prentis said much the same thing himself).

That was yesterday. Today Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, writes on ConservativeHome:

“Some estimates suggest that of the total £1.2 trillion made available to the banks, taxpayers could lose at least £200 billion… whether the banks siphon off our money directly in the form of massive government handouts or indirectly from charging us more for services and loans and paying us less interest on savings, it will be the British taxpayer that foots the bill for the hundreds of billions in toxic loans, credit default swaps, collateral debt obligations and whatever other financial schemes… It makes political and financial sense to be tough on the bonuses of the state-run banks. Bankers’ bonuses were hugely unpopular before the crash and they have become a matter of public interest since taxpayers’ money bailed them out from their own mistakes. If the government is to claw back any of that £200 billion, it means closely monitoring the spending of these banks to give them an extra incentive to end their reliance on state handouts.” (my emphasis)

Well, at least they agree on something: the bailout should be clawed back. Just the small matters of national pay bargaining, public sector pensions and whatnot where they part company.


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