Further worrying evidence of the decline in adult and further education was revealed in the debate about selling off the banks yesterday. The Conservatives have proposed selling bank shares
cheaply to people on low incomes to reward taxpayers for putting their money at risk by buying bank shares in the first place. The political aspects of this are arguable (see below) – but this particular argument is a failure of elementary logic. The taxpayer will reap any of the revenue from the sale of bank shares. Selling them cheaply to one set of taxpayers will merely benefit that group of taxpayers and cost taxpayers in general. The Conservative Party might as well say that they will reward taxpayers for the money they have lost in the banks by cutting income tax financed by a rise in National Insurance.