Chancellor tells ITV News the sale of £3.21bn worth of Lloyds shares will not necessarily trickle down to struggling households.
The Treasury has started the process of one of the most anticipated business deals in years, but will the taxpayer get their money back?
In a letter seen by ITV News, a senior Cabinet minister has warned hospital trusts about using schemes to avoid paying tax.
The Treasury says it wants to get the "best value for the taxpayer" after it was revealed that the Government are planning to sell six per cent of Lloyds Banking Group.
A Treasury spokesperson said: “UK Financial Investments today advised the Chancellor it would be appropriate to begin the process to sell part of the Government’s shareholding in the Lloyds Banking Group.
"The Chancellor agrees with that advice and has authorised the process to begin.
"The Chancellor set out the Government’s objectives for its shareholdings in the banks at the Mansion House speech earlier this year.
"We want to get the best value for the taxpayer, maximise support for the economy and restore them to private ownership. The Government will only conclude a sale if these objectives are met.”
The Treasury has revealed plans to sell six per cent of Lloyds Banking Group.
An anonymous donation made to a fund in 1928 to inspire the government to pay off the UK's debt is now worth £350 million - but cannot be touched.
The National Fund, set up 85 years ago and now managed by Barclays, has grown to become one of the largest charities in the UK by net assets, but due to a specification made by the donor.
The donor specified that the fund should be held in trust until the country raises enough money to pay off the whole debt, which currently stands at £1.2 trillion.
Barclays is believed to have been trying for four years to get permission to use the money to make charitable grants or to turn it over to the Treasury, but any change would have to be approved by a court.
A Treasury spokeswoman has said that today's figures show that the "economy is on the mend" since inflation is almost half of its recent peak of 5.2% in September 2011.
– treasury spokeswoman
The economy is on the mend, but the Government understands that times are tough for families and that is why we have taken continued action to help with the cost of living
A Treasury spokesman has insisted that the government is taking action to alleviate financial pressures as a report showed that more than half of Britons are struggling to keep up with bills:
– treasury spokesman
The Government has taken continued action to help households with the cost of living, including cutting tax for 25 million people by raising the personal allowance and freezing fuel duty.
This report shows that, despite these tough times, managing your everyday finances effectively can really help to make things a little easier, which is why the Government continues to support efforts to boost people's financial skills.
Chair of the Public Accounts Committee Margaret Hodge said the Equitable Life compensation scheme has "let down a lot of people".
Ms Hodge said there was over 200,000 people who could miss out on compensation as a result of system failures.
A Treasury source said:
We do not agree that the Government has failed to get a grip on the planning or delivery of this important work. We continue to monitor the progress of the Equitable Life Payment Scheme very closely and are working hard to maximise the numbers of people who will eventually receive payments.
Instead of scaremongering, the Labour chairman of this committee should explain why her party shamefully did absolutely nothing about this scandal for a decade.
Committee chairwoman Margaret Hodge said she was "stunned" to learn that the Treasury destroyed details and addresses of 353,000 policyholders provided by the Equitable Members Action Group in 2011 on data protection grounds.
– Margaret Hodge MP, committee chairwoman
It is completely unacceptable that more than 10 years after the collapse of Equitable Life so many victims still have not received the compensation they are entitled to.
Only 35% of policyholders have received payments despite 72% of the budget being spent. We heard of cases where people had been sent multiple letters requesting the same information and received only generic responses to individual queries and complaints.
Paul Braithwaite Equitable Members Action Group has vociferously condemned the Treasury over its failure to make payments to those owed Equitable Life compensation.
Mr Braithwaite told ITV News: "There are 236,000 people who they anticipate not finding. that's not good enough, they've got to find them."
Mr Braithwaite added: "People are dying waiting - that's a sad indictment on our political system."