Icelandic deposits – pot calling the kettle black?

I see from this week’s Kent Messenger (“MPs add to criticism of £50m banking ‘failures'”, p36) that an all-party Select Committee of MPs chaired by Dr Phyllis Starkey has criticised local authorities, including Kent County Council for their handling of Icelandic bank investments and the oft-quoted £50m caught up in Glitnir, Landsbaanki and Heritable when the Icelandic economy crashed.

Predictably, Liberal Democrat and Labour leaders Trudy Dean and Les Christie have enthusiastically joined in the criticism, with Les stating that “…councils ought to have done better and handled things differently.” and Trudy calling for KCC to “offer the [public] apology we have not yet had.”.

Many will recall the catastrophic LibLab coalition at Kent County Council in the late 1990s which led to unaffordable rates of council tax, a mire of bureaucracy, reduced council services and ironically, a squandering of KCC’s financial reserves from £55m down to just £5m – coincidentally, a loss of £50m.

The difference being that most of our £50m will be refunded.


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