Selling off the public's transportation infrastructure to pay off government debt has no "ideological opposition" in London today, if a recently published report is to be believed.
A plan to privatize the UK's motorway network, giving toll firms access to large swaths of road, would take place under the guise of paying down the government's debt, British media reported Tuesday, citing a number of key officials who support the scheme, proposed to all major political parties by NM Rothschild, one of the world's oldest, most influential and little discussed investment banks, founded by the Rothschild family.
Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said over a week ago that the scheme would be Britain's way forward.
Business Secretary and UK Treasury Spokesman Vince Cable, quoted by The Daily Mail, said he was open to the idea.
"'There is no ideological opposition to asset sales," he said, the paper reported. "If we can get good value for money for something, then we will look at it. There is undoubtedly potential for releasing an income stream from government assets. There are no inhibitions; we want value for money and we want income."
"Last year, Gordon Brown began the process of a fresh round of privatisations, announcing asset sales of Ã‚Â£16billion, including the Tote, the Dartford Crossing and the student loan book," the Mail added.
Instead of drawing the tolls directly from motorists pocketbooks, the firms would draw up formulas that estimate the total number of drivers, which the government would then pay for in regular increments. Critics call the idea a "shadow toll," though it is seen as preferential compared to building new toll roads and electronic payment systems. The so-called "shadow toll" would also appear to be a possible route for deflecting the full brunt of an almost-certain public backlash.
Cable called the Rothschild plan "using assets more creatively," according to the Mail. Media reports estimated the sale of Britain's motorway to private interests would generate some Ã‚Â£100billion for the government. Politicians are also considering an electronic tracking system that charges drivers based on distance driven.
"A spokesman at the Department for Transport said: 'It is not unusual for organisations to suggest ideas to government departments but ultimately all policy is decided by ministers and there are no plans to sell off a stake in the Highways Agency,'" the Times-Online added. "Rothschild declined to comment.
The paper continue: "The bank was behind many of the key privatisations of the 1980s and 1990s, including British Steel, British Gas and British Coal. It has close links to the Conservatives, having employed several senior Party figures including Lord Lamont, John Redwood and Lord Wakeham. Oliver Letwin, the former shadow chancellor, works there part-time."
The Rothschilds, a bane to many a conspiracy theorist's existence, are a centuries-old European banking dynasty that has exerted tremendous influence over European history and global economic affairs. Many critics of global banking institutions view the family as the driving force behind central banks that oversee the economies of virtually every modern industrialized nation on Earth.