Labour proposes to sell “non-essential” buildings to ease national deficit
Labour has proposed plans to sell four “non-essential buildings” in London in order to reduce the country’s national deficit.
Under these plans Labour would commission value-for-money reviews of the government-owned buildings. They hope to raise over £100m in order to combat the £67bn deficit with the four properties.
The buildings include Inn the Park, a restaurant located in St. James’ Park with an estimated value of £6.7m. The Civil Service Club, a social club featuring a bar, a restaurant, and accommodation, open mainly to current and previous civil-service workers and police officers and with an estimated value of £6.8m. The Queen Elizabeth II conference centre, located close to the parliament. It is the largest conference centre of its kind in London with an estimated value of £25m. Marlborough House, a grade one listed mansion worth almost £65m, and currently being used by the commonwealth secretariat at no charge.
Commenting on these proposals shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Chris Leslie said: “A future Labour government will examine whether it would provide a better deal for taxpayers if the properties were sold off and the proceeds used to pay down Britain’s national debt.”
Some, however are sceptical of the plans, with one Conservative spokesperson asserting: “Ed Miliband still has no economic plan to secure Britain’s future. This saving represents just 0.001 per cent of the deficit.”
The plans were announced as part of Labour’s “zero-based” review of public spending.