The Labour Party has announced that if it were in government it would bring in an Act of Parliament to require loans to governments to be publicly disclosed.
Reacting to the announcement Sarah-Jayne Clifton, Director of Jubilee Debt Campaign said:
“Jubilee Debt Campaign warmly welcomes Labour’s proposal to increase the transparency of loans to governments. If implemented, this would be a key move in tackling the secret loans that are helping to push impoverished countries into debt crisis. Public disclosure of loans is a vital step to enable media, parliaments and civil society to hold lenders and borrowers to account on how public money is spent. Making them transparent is a no-brainer, and it’s great to see the Labour Party stepping up to the plate on this. There is growing cross-party consensus. We now need the Government itself to step up and act.“
In April Jubilee Debt Campaign launched a briefing with 43 civil society organisations on how to increase the transparency of loans to governments, titled: ‘Transparency of loans to governments: The public’s right to know about their debts.’
Last week 51 UK MPs, from every party in parliament, wrote to the Chancellor calling for concrete measures to increase the transparency of loans to governments.
The G20 Finance Ministers will be discussing debt transparency and sustainability at their meetings in Tokyo on 8-9 June. The global banking body, the Institute of International Finance, are currently consulting on voluntary principles on publicly disclosing information on loans to impoverished country governments.