Osborne is trying to bribe us all into looking the other way, by offering a measly one per cent of shares to Royal Mail workers.
It seems that hedge funds have once again taken the vast majority of the shares on offer – at a three per cent discount. Labour has tabled a Parliamentary question to demand that ministers reveal the identity of all buyers.
Business minister Sajid Javid has tried to sell us a duff line that the sale is good for taxpayers because the money will be used to reduce public debt; he must think we’re all idiots.
He’s trying to convince us that a one-off payment (of less than the shares are worth) is better than multiple dividends from a profitable concern, continuing far into the future. That’s nonsense and he knows it.
Mystery surrounds the wealthy buyers who grabbed a cut-price £750million chunk of Royal Mail on Thursday.
The Government halved the taxpayers stake in the postal giant to 15%.
But anger erupted as the public were shunned in favour of large investors.
And the identity of most of the wealthy buyers is unknown.
A stock market announcement only stated that 150 million shares were placed with “institutional investors”.
One of those is understood to be successful fund manager Neil Woodford.
His firm, Woodford Investment Management, is already Royal Mail’s biggest private investor and is believed to have upped its stake above 5%.