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Lords' Rock vote is 'boon for taxpayers'

21 February 2008
Categories: News
Lib Dems' Oakeshott hails FoI decision

It is right that taxpayers will be able to follow developments concerning Northern Rock and its privatisation, Lord Oakeshott has claimed.

The Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesperson's comments followed a vote in the House of Lords against excluding the bank from the Freedom of Information Act.

Lord Oakeshott said that the Government should not be able to keep taxpayers in the dark about Northern Rock and financing vehicle Granite, which has been set up to allow the embattled bank to offload parts of its mortgage book to bondholders.
He remarked: 'Taxpayers must know the full picture at Northern Rock, including Granite and the £8bn of dodgy unsecured loans.

'Making Northern Rock subject to Freedom of Information requests will stop any Treasury cover-up.

'Why shouldn't taxpayers know if Northern Rock bosses get massive bonuses or golden goodbye payments?'

The prime minister had earlier defended the Government's move to exclude Northern Rock from the FoI Act, saying 'it would be unfair on [the bank] if other companies knew everything about its business plan.

He added: 'It is surely a matter of commercial confidentiality that Northern Rock should be able to plan its business future'.

Categories: News
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