The Liberal Democrats have demanded that any buyer of Northern Rock should have to pay back its £24bn loan in full.
Vince Cable, Shadow Chancellor for the Liberal Democrats, also accused the Government of attempting to cover up the scale of payments to the troubled lender.
As potential bidders for Northern Rock prepare their offers, Cable comments: “Whatever happens to Northern Rock, all of the £24 billion of taxpayers money must be paid back. Any future owner must not expect to enjoy continued loans from the Government.”
Yesterday, Cable asked the Chancellor, Alistair Darling, to reveal full details of Northern Rock’s loan facility.
Darling refused his request, saying: “This is a commercial matter between the bank and [Northern Rock] I do not consider it would be sensible or prudent for the government to continually comment further on the amounts drawn.”
Cable accused the Chancellor of favouring the interest of Northern Rock’s managers over those of taxpayers.
"It is simply unacceptable that the Chancellor has sought to cover up the sheer scale of payments made to Northern Rock,” he adds.
Cable also claims it is not right for the Government to bail out irresponsible banks, as it will lead to further poor banking practice.
He says: “"We are now in a dangerous situation in which banks feel they can take ludicrous gambles with their customers' money, knowing that if it all goes wrong, taxpayers will bail them out."
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