Leader of the referendum no camp Alastair Darling may have cost
taxpayers as much as £68bn as Labour chancellor
Scottish news: Darling may cost taxpayers £68 Billion, warns Westminster
The no to independence campaign chief and former Labour Chancellor Alistair Darling's credibility is hanging in the balance today after it was revealed, by a parliamentary committee, that £68bn of taxpayers' money he used to bail out private banks may never be recovered.
In terms of the seriousness of the losses the sum is staggering. £68 billion pounds is more than double the block grant Westminster allocates to the Scottish government each year and the impact on family budgets and business is unfathomable.
A spokesperson for Scottish Finance Minister John Swinney, told Scottish Times: “This report will only serve to remind people of the catastrophic failure of banking and financial services regulation which happened on the watch of the UK Labour Government when Alistair Darling, the man leading to No campaign, was Chancellor.”
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The bank bailouts compensated wealthy shareholders of RBS and Lloyds after they made ill-considered investments in the financial institutions. Mr Darling never made clear why the public should be held responsible for such private debts and the public were never consulted on the matter.
With the population now facing acute austerity measures as a consequence public outrage will be directed at the former Westminster politician who now leads the Unionist party no camp in Scotland's independence referendum campaign.
Responding to the revelation, SNP Treasury spokesman Stewart Hosie said the Commons Public Accounts Committee report highlighted the "monumental failure" of at the time Labour Chancellor Mr Darling and Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
"This is a damning report for the leader of the anti-independence campaign.
"It was Mr Darling's monumental failure to act that brought on the banking crisis but his credibility has now sunk to a new low.
"Taxpayers across the country will be rightly outraged at the idea they will be left £68billion out of pocket as a result of bailing out
"That is public money and they deserve a full explanation from Mr Darling and Mr Brown.
"Labour tried to deny any involvement in the economic crisis but we know, thanks to this report and to comments from FSA chief executive Hector Sants, it was entirely the fault of the party's economic mismanagement.
"Mr Darling, who has absolutely no financial credibility left, is leading a campaign asking the people of Scotland to trust him that they are better together with a Tory UK government.
"But for the people of Scotland the question is how much they can trust a word Mr Darling says after trying to hide his responsibility for making a mess of the economy."
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