Campaign to Reform UK Dept. of Dodgy Deals

Jubilee Debt Campaign in the UK has released a new report, entitled ‘The Department for Dodgy Deals’. Any other bloggers in the sphere who are concerned about international debt and justice for the poor should spread this far and wide.

The department for dodgy deals
by Jubilee Debt Campaign on Thursday, January 27, 2011 at 11:36am

Dodgy Deals ReportA report out today from leading anti-poverty group Jubilee Debt Campaign reveals that a little-known Government department is using taxpayers’ money to back dodgy international business deals – deals which are fuelling poverty, human rights abuses and environmental destruction in the developing world.

‘The Department for Dodgy Deals: Ending the UK’s support for toxic debt’ The Dodgy Deals Report shows that the Government’s export support body, the Canary Wharf-based Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD), is flouting wider Government policy on development and has racked up a debt burden from poor countries of over £2 billion – 96% of all Third World Debt ‘owed’ to the UK today. The report also reveals:

* Indonesia is still repaying debts to the ECGD based on arms sales to General Suharto, who killed between 500,000 and 1 million people during his first year in office
* The department has supported a ‘white elephant’ power plant in India, a ‘human rights free’ oil pipeline in the Caucasus and a dam in Lesotho which involved serious corruption.
* The Coalition government has failed to act on its pledge to end fossil fuel subsidies through the ECGD. The Liberal Democrats also have policy to stop supporting arms sales through the ECGD – which the Coalition has so far failed to implement.

The ECGD, headed by former HSBC chairman Stephen Green, is set to play an increasingly prominent role in the Coalition Government’s efforts to boost the economy through an export-led recovery.

This report, then, comes at a crucial time. Without massive reform of the ECGD, the Government’s plans for economic recovery are set to fuel human rights abuses, climate change and poverty in some of the world’s poorest countries.

Read more: To download a copy of the report click here

Read coverage of the report in the Independent

For more information about the campaign to reform the ECGD visit Jubilee Debt Campaigns’ website.