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November 30, 2006

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As you wish, sirrah:

The public are to be offered the chance to purchase shares in new prisons under a "buy to let" scheme being considered by the Home Office, it emerged yesterday.

The idea has been floated in an attempt to overcome the refusal of the chancellor, Gordon Brown, to find the extra money needed for 8,000 new prison places at a time when the service is at breaking point.

Home Office finance directors, who are looking for alternative ways of funding the next wave of new prisons, hope that the public can be tempted to invest in a new-style property company that would build jails and then rent them out to private prison operators. This would provide a steady guaranteed dividend from the "rental income".
One incentive for small investors is that the government's punitive penal policy has seen prison numbers rise relentlessly over the past 10 years and would appear to guarantee a steady stream of rental income with no apparent shortage of prison "tenants".

http://www.guardian.co.uk/prisons/story/0,,1961501,00.html

Thanks, Roy, will pass the link to the esteemed editor of Gifthub as a peace offering.

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