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Hall debate on Debt
November 1st 2001
Summary / Highlights prepared by Dave Pearce for JDC Web Group
(This document is not approved by Jubilee Debt Campaign)
Every speaker supported debt cancellation and the extension of the scope of the current HIPC (II) agreement – even the Treasury spokesperson! No one spoke against the proposition.
A substantial proportion of the debate was mutual congratulations for the UK contribution and the contribution of the Jubilee campaign (and the NGO’s).
There were no proposals from the treasury for any new initiatives and there were few significant proposals made from the speakers for specific changes.
Although there were several relatively minor questions left to be answered in writing, there were very few searching questions asked of the Treasury.
Jubilee Plus reports were widely cited in arguments for extending the debt cancellation.
Principle speakers were
Mr. David Lidington (Aylesbury) (Conservative)
Dr. Vincent Cable (Twickenham) Replying for Liberals
Mr. Andy Reed (Loughborough
Mr Mark Hoban (Fareham)
Ann McKechin (Glasgow, Maryhill)
Mr. Simon Thomas (Ceredigion
Mr. Tony Colman (Putney)
The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Paul Boateng)
Highlights of each speaker
relief & poverty reduction are at the heart of globalisation challenge.
campaign against terrorism.
reduction successes link to grass roots organisations and NGOs.
is accelerating; duty to spread the benefits of rising prosperity.
leadership for HIPC II & UK 100% on bilateral.
every day; we must redouble our efforts.
million illiterate; average education £27/head compared UK £3625.
countries decision point $54Bn -$34Bn HIPC; $20BN traditional.
is a barrier; work towards resolving conflict (spending on conflict resolution
increased 42%) special IMF terms at end of conflict.
ban on export credits for unproductive expenditure.
must be poverty reduction (not just dropping money into a hole)
poverty reduction targets.
be judged by progress on these not our words’.
towards the $1,831 Aids fund.
response to improved governance it would be a
‘dereliction of responsibility’ not to lift debt burden.
Statistics hide the 10% deaths in infancy; 113M without primary school.
the contribution of NGOs, look forward to a dialogue with NGOs
poor are not in HIPCs.
important is increased trade, free markets; endorse EU ‘everything but
needs good governance.
impact of Sept 11th, on debt Pakistan and central Asia, have a
clear case for help?
will government confirm reports on concessions for these countries?
ensure debt relief not used for conflict expenditure.
be advised of the number of countries with UK funds in trust and value of the
Jubilee Plus report on sustainability needs a response
from Minister; cited countries and reasons for not reaching even WB
Plus call for international bankruptcy procedure worth
examining; not committing Conservatives yet.
Ms Julia Drown (South
endorsed the UN 2015 targets; but Kofi Annan says it’s a pipe dream without
victims of Sept 11th; equal sympathy with families of poorest
countries; it sends a message of value American lives more than poorest.
shouldn’t take lost lives in America to give debt relief to Pakistan nor
Nigeria just because it isn’t near Afghanistan.
‘long term unsustainable’, most debt indicators worse for HIPCs.
HIPCs in conflict must be given help and countries outside HIPCs.
removed from HIPC list, but every £1 aid, pays £100 in debt service.
extend HIPC; need to persuade Japan it is in Japan’s interest.
Vincent Cable (Twickenham):
for absence of Liberal spokesman –on floor of the house.
ago trying to tackle the same debt problem.
focus on debt, needs wider trade and investment.
debt service relief only $75M/a, much of it hypothetical, modest value
believe these figures are not correct)
been made worse (by sept 11).
process too complex and long winded.
of end of conflict needs more flexibility.
Nigeria to be given HIPC terms.
needs care in view of military government; consideration for neighbours, India,
additional flows WB/IMF funds need replenishing.
years ago, India would qualify, similarly China, so optimistic.
Glenda Jackson (Hampstead
letter from supporter Mr. Keiran Proffer and read
selected quotes from letter.
people do not have the energy to fight.
experience with Oxfam
in Ethiopia, aid getting to both sides.
‘ fundamentalist, educated, not in poverty, but still violent.
moral duty to argue that there is not a simple solution.
the opposition talk to the people of poor countries.
not let our anxiety to help lead to imposing our ideas.
Tony Baldry (Banbury):
half population of HIPCs below $1/day; 1 in 6 children who die; 50M not in
the $59M/day of debt service to fight poverty.
The HIPC definitions of sustainability reflect the dominance of G8 creditors, the inclination of those creditors to favour certain client countries and a reluctance to absorb losses that mirror mistakes of past initiatives.
statements that sustainability is too narrow.
why has WB used higher economic performance than achieved in the past; and not
take account of external factors.
23 had experienced IMFs SAPs and now PRSPs without dramatic growth improvements.
on 5.5% growth; Standards and Poors predict 2.5%.
like Burkina Faso can’t wait to 2007 for sustainability.
can’t wait until 2008.
use of debt to export rather than debt to revenue impact on Chad and Zambia.
needs to be packages tailored to individual circumstances.
Plus arguments on vulnerability and fragility of economies.
would be fair and is supported by Kofi Annan.
this be better than a HIPC 3.
the treasury will review HIPC to ensure it works.
Andy Reed (Loughborough):
with Jubilee 2000
was it had an end, unfortunately debt not gone away.
relief not a panacea, still needs aid to reach 0.7%.
used the statistic, 3,000 children will die during the debate.
Not just Jubilee
Plus and NGOs, but WB identify flaws in HIPC.
want HIPC3, wants informality of Paris Club.
problem is Japan; so calls on Uk Government to act unilaterally.
letters outnumbered foxhunting!
the success of Uganda after HIPC.
relief not enough; needs trade to achieve sustainability in long term.
use our influence on WB/IMF to address poverty.
look bottom up; the evidence is that the programs are not making a jot of
consider new initiatives; not the WB/IMF financial perspectives, not even
governments but people on the ground.
refused to let a President present their PRSP!
point in his career was Chancellor announcing 100% cancellation.
issue is, whether in 12 months time there will still be 3,000 dieing in the same
Mr Mark Hoban (Fareham):
in spite of Jubilee, for every £1 aid, £13 come back indebt relief; every day
in 1999 $128M transferred to rich in debt service; total debt stock of aid
recipients is $2534Bn and debt service $300bn.
life expectancy down to 33, last seen in Europe in medieval times.
paid $438M, 13 % GDP. UN survey
estimates that money would reduce infant mortality from 202/100 to just 8!
expanding trade to combat poverty; citing China and Asia as the evidence.
Doha will proceed.
Mr. Simon Thomas
–Doha must consider developing countries and the environment
Ann McKechin (Glasgow,
prospect of meeting the 2015 targets unless crack the debt problem.
written to criteria of creditors; ignored problems of development and poverty.
aid donations still used for debt service.
aid funds to pay Sierra Leone debts.
African countries paid $1.4bn could have been used for health & education and AIDs prevention.
acknowledge that overestimated growth; will not reach sustainability criteria.
back in 1988 International Development Committee accepted sustainable debt only
if it didn’t damage prospects for economic and human development.
not accepting their responsibility for risk.
penalties fall on poor people.
that donor countries have pressurised countries to withdraw from HIPC,
especially Japan on Ghana and Laos by offering tied aid.
congress delays slowing process.
closely similar to SAPs.
of debt is estimated to be odious –i.e. unwisely made to dictators.
Global health fund –it is inadequate.
remember that only 1% of world trade is with poor countries.
It is a
matter of political will.
creditors need to commit to 100% cancellation.
reassess PRSPs; Need to end trade protectionism; need a dialogue between North
and South. Then we can achieve the targets.
Simon Thomas (Ceredigion):
ensure that we do not provide debt relief to coalition countries that would
undermine long-term aims.
reading of International development Bill will end tied aid.
that DAC countries a decreasing proportion of GDP to aid
Jubilee Plus –HIPC flogged to death;
want countries freed from debt not as HIPC seeks simply to manage their debts
Afghanistan needed aid in spite of conflict.
development must be included in International aid.
issue of Tobin tax or called on Government to propose an alternative
Tony Colman (Putney):
progress from WTO Doha and the WB/IMF leading towards world summit on
sustainable development Johannesburg in September 2002.
democratic parliamentary agreements for any future loans.
international accounting standards.
of corruption in Burkina Faso.
strong support for Jubilee
that everything except arms is delayed for 7 years.
the trade barriers to be brought down at Doha.
chancellor will use imminent WB/IMF meeting to pursue independent arbitration
and emergency standstill ideas.
special help for countries accepting refugees.
Tobin tax – using the Continuing Linked Settlement system coming on-stream in
Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Mr.
Paul Boateng) Responding
provide written responses to trenchant criticism of HIPC.
It will be
necessary to look at the impact of Sept 11 on HIPC.
the sustainability problem, and will continue to work to exit HIPC with
sustainable debt levels.
help to Pakistan and £13M for refugee host communities.
out that UK was not a major creditor of Pakistan and so had limited leverage.
with WB/IMF to assist Nigeria.
to press reforms of WB/IMF and improved accountability and transparency.
respond in writing on Tobin tax.