Government's RBS 'shares plan'

The Government said it would dispose of its stake in the Royal Bank of Scotland "at the right time and in the interests of the taxpayer" after reports of a pre-election share giveaway was under consideration.

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Government's '£400 RBS shares gift' to taxpayers

Economic Secretary to the Treasury Sajid Javid has been tasked with drawing up plans that would give everyone in the country shares in RBS worth £300-£400, according to the Independent and Daily Mail.

Party sources were quoted by the newspapers as saying:

One of the options of course could be to put it in our manifesto - but then Labour could do that as well.

Wouldn't it be much better if voters were getting a cheque for £400 a few months before election day? It would also be a very big stimulus.

Government 'could sell-off' RBS stake

The Treasury insisted it would dispose of its stake in Royal Bank of Scotland "at the right time and in the interests of the taxpayer" amid reports a pre-election share giveaway was under serious consideration.

Scandal-hit RBS - which is 81% state-owned after a £45 billion bailout in 2008 - could be ready for privatisation this year, but at present prices that would mean a huge public loss.

RBS could be privatised this year. Credit: Johnny Green/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Liberal Democrats have championed the idea of a share giveaway and it was reported tonight that Conservative ministers were also now examining the idea of handing it back to taxpayers.

Party sources told the Independent and Daily Mail that Chancellor George Osborne saw continued ownership as politically "untenable" amid Libor-fixing and other scandals and was keen to end the state's role soon.

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