Thank you for your recent email about public bodies and EDM 689. While I do not, by practice, generally sign EDMs, let me set out my thoughts and our policy on this issue.
Where there is no longer a strong policy reason for continued public ownership or where there is potential for an asset to operate most sensibly and efficiently in the private sector, the Government will look into the potential sale of public sector assets. Asset sales help achieve stronger public finances, reduce national debt and encourage economic growth through investment.
I am glad that to assist in this process the Treasury created a new government-owned company, UK Government Investments (UKGI), which began operations on in April 2016. UKGI will make it easier for government experts to work together to deliver the sale of a wide range of publicly owned assets in a way that secures good value for money. Last year, such sales included the release of shares in Lloyds Banking Group, UK Asset Resolution assets, Eurostar and the pre-2012 income contingent repayment student loan book; all of which generated £25 billion for the Government.
UKGI will also help the Government achieve its aim to run large, publicly-owned delivery bodies more efficiently, as well as learn from private sector expertise to improve the performance of taxpayer-owned assets. The Government is committed to ensuring the effective and efficient management of publicly owned assets and keeps ownership of all assets under review.
Thank you again for taking the time to get in touch.