Key Facts

Bank bail-outs:

The Bank of England estimates that the total costs of bailing out the financial system is £1.3tr, or more than 10 times the entire NHS budget.The UK bank bailout accounts for about 1/3 of the global banking bailout.

3 years on the British government continues to subsidise ‘too big to fail banks’ banks:

  • £46 billion: the combined subsidy the ‘Big Five’ UK banks enjoyed in 2010;
  • £10 billion: of British taxpayer’s money was paid in indirect subsidy to Barclays
  • Lloyds, RBS, HSBC and Nationwide also enjoyed subsidies of £15bn, £13bn, £7bn and £1bn respectively.

The ‘too-big-to-fail’ subsidy for the UK’s largest four banks is 62% higher than the equivalent subsidy in Germany, despite the fact that the German economy is significantly larger. [New Economics Foundation, Quid Pro Quo, September 2011]

Austerity cuts:

£83 billion is the amount of public sector cuts planned by the government by 2014-15. Effectively cutting the incomes of ordinary people by:

  • 6.2% for typical families with two young people on modest earnings (£37,000 combined income)
  • 4.2% for more well off families with children at university (£78,000 combined income)
  • 10.4% the average working lone parent with two children
  • 16.2% pensioner couples The cuts are hitting the poorest hardest according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies. [TUC, Where the Money Goes, October 2010]

Unemployment:

  • The economy has lost 2 million jobs since the beginning of the recession.
  • 2.57 million people out of work (or 8.1% of working-age population)
  • 21.3% of 16-25 year olds out of work. That is almost 1 million young people, the demographic group that has lost out most from the fall in demand for labour.
  • 250,000 jobs have been cut in the public sector in the last year.
  • Research published by TUC on Monday found that those previously working in the lowest paid jobs make up nearly half of all new unemployed claimants since 2008.

Inequality:

  • The top ten percent now have 100 times the wealth of the bottom ten percent.
  • The top ten percent earn 4.1 times the incomes of the bottom ten percent, with the top 1 percent more than 10 times. The same figure was 3.1 in 1961.
  • The average CEO earns 250 times the average cleaner.
  • Levels of social mobility are the lowest among all developed economies.