Back in July last year the always enjoyable patriotic Englishman Toque explained for the sake of clarity to his readers that
Banque Camoron the Big Society Bank is an England-only scheme as only dormant English bank accounts will be robbed by the government to part capitalise the new gimmick.
In February this year Toque highlighted that in a speech on the subject David Cameron was failing to make clear only English bank accounts would be raided to fund the Big Society Bank.
There has been no explanation as to why dormant accounts in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be left untouched by this outrageous and intrusive sequestration of funds. Like most people, Toque had been labouring under the assumption that only English bank accounts are being plundered because the Big Society Bank will only fund English based projects. But then he saw a comment made by Francis Maude in the House of Commons saying that:
…money put in by the banks will be for UK purposes, but the money coming into the big society bank in due course from dormant bank accounts will be for England only, unless the devolved Administrations decide to put their share of that money into the big society bank,
However a Parliamentary Written Answer published on Thursday doesn’t say that. In fact despite there being an ample opportunity to give a detailed response the answer gives the impression that as with so many pledges the government might be in the process of moving the goal posts.
When asked by Jonathan Edwards MP what arrangements the Minister for the Cabinet Office plans to put in place to fund the big society bank; and whether he expects there to be any differences in the operation of the bank in each nation or region, the Minister for Civil Society (yes, I know) Nick Hurd MP explained (my emphasis):
The Government have committed to using 100% of dormant accounts funds available for spending in England to set up the big society bank. In addition, four of the UK’s main banks have agreed to support the establishment of the bank with the injection, on a commercial basis, of £200 million of capital over two years, commencing in 2011.
There is no sign of Maude’s caveat. Not content with the English taxpayer being ripped off by the Barnett Formula of funding in the other home nations, we could now be seeing the Conservative-Lib Dem government taking money from English bank account holders and using it to fund Big Society initiatives outside of England after all.
No matter what happens, the message to the English from the Con-Lib coalition seems to be the same as the one from the last Labour government, shut up and pay up.