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Tory sell-off to raise more than last 20 years' total

By Ian Jones

George Osborne is set to raise more money this year through the sale of public assets than every privatisation of the past two decades combined.

The selling of stakes in Royal Mail, RBS and other organisations is likely to generate around £31.8bn in 2015/16.

This is more than the total of £31.7bn raised by all privatisations since 1993, new analysis by the Press Association shows.

It would also be the largest amount of money raised through the disposal of public assets in any 12-month period in modern history.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey described the findings as "the sale of the century" and accused Mr Osborne of "rewarding the Tory party's friends in the City in a spectacularly lavish style".

"George Osborne is being utterly irresponsible and inconsistent. On the one hand he announces £12bn of cuts, on the other he rushes through the RBS sale and in the process loses out on a £14bn return to taxpayers.

"This is money that could have been spent on infrastructure, education and health for the benefit of all."

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