Unanswered questions if ECGD joins 'bonfire of quangos'
Nick Dearden, Director of Jubilee Debt Campaign, said:
"We welcome the news that the Export Credits Guarantee Department is being considered for serious reform. For too long, the ECGD has underwritten dodgy deals which have harmed human rights and the environment, and created toxic debts in the developing world."
"But scrapping or privatising the ECGD would leave unanswered questions about whether the state would continue as an underwriter of last resort for UK exports, and how the Government plans to fulfil its manifesto pledge to champion green exports. Privatisation could make the situation even worse if it means public money being spent with no public oversight."
"We agree that the ECGD is totally unfit for purpose and requires a fundamental shake-up. But it goes beyond one department; the UK Government must stop putting the interests of big corporations ahead of people and planet – as well as a balanced approach to UK industry" (2)
Jubilee Debt Campaign is part of a coalition of NGOs calling for an end to ECGD support for dirty business (3). Before coming to power, new Business Secretary Vince Cable called for ECGD support for arms exports to be cut, and new International Development Minister Andrew Mitchell called for ECGD support for fossil fuel exports to be cut. (4)
For more information contact Jubilee Debt Campaign, 020 7324 4722, 07932 335464.
1. ‘Quango cuts: full list of bodies under review’ , Daily Telegraph, 23 September 2010. 'Fear over jobs as leak suggests 180 quangos may be axed' , BBC News, 24 September.
2. Jubilee Debt Campaign’s End Britain’s Dodgy Deals campaign, launched earlier this year, is calling for an overhaul of the ECGD.
3. See A Dirty Business? Manifesto for action on the ECGD, Amnesty International UK, Campaign Against Arms Trade, The Corner House Jubilee Debt Campaign, Jubilee Scotland, and WWF UK. Available on request.
4. See Vince Cable, Tackling the fiscal crisis: A recovery plan for the UK , September 2009. Andrew Mitchell, ‘Ending Labour's support for polluting energy projects’, November 23 2009.
5. Jubilee Debt Campaign is the UK coalition campaigning for 100% cancellation of unjust and unpayable poor country debts.