Jubilee Debt Campaign’s new report on the Export Credits Guarantee Department exposes a history of backing projects by large corporations in a handful of controversial sectors, that has created £2 billion of toxic debts.
The projects have led to human rights abuses, environmental destruction and corruption in the developing world, and often failed to deliver even on their stated aims.
The report, The Department for Dodgy Deals: Ending the UK’s support for toxic debt, finds that:
- Over £2 billion of ‘toxic debts’ from failed UK exports are being repaid by developing countries, making up 96% of Third World debt to the UK. Developing countries including Indonesia, Kenya and Pakistan have paid an average of £700 million a year to the department over recent years.
- Indonesia is still repaying debts based on arms sales to General Suharto and an overpriced, unproductive hydro-electric dam in Kenya. It has also 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, despite taking action to beef up the Department’s role. The Liberal Democrats have a party policy to stop supporting arms sales through the ECGD.