Today the Government announced a further 'bank rescue plan' - yet there are pigeon steps towards a more interventionist role: 'nationalised' Northern Rock to expand lending, rather than winding down and repaying its loans. The Government has also now taken a 70% stake in RBS.
These are however minor moves, and the bailout will again risk public money without adequate controls, and there is still no intention to restructure the banking system. LEAP put out the following press release in response:
No more bailouts, nationalise now!
As the Government announces yet another rescue plan for the banking sector, LEAP makes one simple demand: nationalise the banks now and use them to help resolve the crisis, rather than continue exacerbating it.
John McDonnell MP, LEAP Chair, said:
"Again we see the Government pouring public money down the bottomless drain of the banks.
"Anger is mounting about the dithering and delays as the Government skirts around the only solution: to nationalise the banks in order to develop and impose a new banking strategy in the long-term interests of the country - rather than restoring the opportunity for another round of speculation and profiteering."
Andrew Fisher, LEAP Co-ordinator, said:
"The Government cannot continue to bailout the banks, while the banks continue to turf people out of their homes and out of their jobs. Restoring people to their jobs and housing is a more urgent priority than restoring bank profitability."
"The only solution is nationalisation of the banks and the Government seems only to be edging at a snail's pace towards this realisation."