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Background

With regards to the UK government.

I have recently been involved in a debate stemming from figures mentioned in this blog post (the blogger was advocated by Occupy London's facebook page and verifying the level of "over-sensationalism" portrayed in the post would make or break my relationship with them both).

Here are the bare bones of what the blog post claims:

Bankers cost this country £456.3bn in fraud.

People on the dole cost this country £1.6bn in fraud.

0 bankers are sent to prison for fraud.

6000 people on the dole are sent to prison for fraud (/yr).

Politicians had to bail the bankers out with £1.2tn, leaving the next generation with 3 times more tuition fees to pay.

I did post (twice) on that blog post, asking for citations, but they have not yet replied. So I turn to Stack Economics for the first time for help with either verifying/debunking two claims (100 rep points is not from involvement on stack:economics):

Questions

(i) Where (if anywhere) does the £456.3 billion come from?

(ii) Where (if anywhere) does the £1.2 trillion come from?

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Perhaps it would help the casual reader if you explicitly wrote in your post that you are referring to the UK. This is an international site, and the pound sign is used for other currencies also. And in any case, it helps to be clear. –  Alecos Papadopoulos Dec 11 at 18:34
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Cheers @AlecosPapadopoulos, updated. –  hello_there_andy Dec 11 at 18:46
    
Thanks for responding! –  Alecos Papadopoulos Dec 11 at 19:07

2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Source:- Bankers cost this country £456.3bn in fraud

In the UK, where the government bailed out Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc (RBS) and Lloyds Banking Group, the total outstanding support explicitly pledged to Britain’s banks stood at 456.3 billion pounds ($730 billion) at the end of March, or 31 percent of GDP, the National Audit Office said in a July report. The amount was down from a peak of 1.16 trillion pounds.

Source:- Politicians had to bail the bankers out with £1.2tn, leaving the next generation with 3 times more tuition fees to pay.

The Treasury has pledged to spend £1.2 trillion on the bail-out since the crisis began. But the real outlay has been much smaller. By March it was committed to spending £456.33bn: £123.93bn in loan or share purchases, which required an actual cash injection from the government to the banks, and £332.4bn in guarantees and liabilities. It costs taxpayers up to £5bn a year just to service the loan that the crisis incurred.

The idea seems to be more to create noise rather than putting facts into perspective. The 2 lines in isolation are damning, but when you read the whole thing it seems to make a bit more sense. Seems more at fear mongering rather than putting the facts into perspective.

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"fraud" may have been a bit harsh, the original bloggers cite their figures:

Hi Andrew, For all our articles we use information from national news organisations (for our sins). Have a look here at the Guardian http://gu.com/p/3xzdk, the BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24104743 and the CAS http://www.cas.org.uk/node/3330

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Yes they cite bbc, but coveniently missed out on the fact that the Treasury made a small profit out of the bail money, used to bail out RBS. And posting articles from 2011, in 2014, as evidence is a nut job. Lot of water has flown under the bridge from then. –  DumbCoder Dec 13 at 13:09

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