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An important campaign has been launched by the Taxpayers’ Alliance today to stop British World Bank loans funding Argentina.
There is absolutely no reason for Argentina to receive aid – it is a member of the G20 and a middle income country. Despite this, British taxpayers, through the shares they own in international financial institutions, are supporting generous loans to Argentina. Furthermore, Argentina has been vociferously attacking British interests of late. The Government has called for a boycott of British goods as a result of the disputed sovereignty of the Falkland Islands. This is utterly ridiculous bearing in mind the islanders’ right to self-determination and the existence of British sovereignty through administration. We should not be indirectly funding a potential enemy.
Outstanding loans from the World Bank and affiliated organisations were worth $16.2 billion in March 2012. Based on shareholdings this equates to a total British taxpayer stake of over £225 million.
Britain should take the lead of other countries’ responses. The Obama administration votes against any new loans as a result of Argentina’s mistreatment of existing creditors, whilst the EU has filed a suit against Argentina with the World Trade Organisation as a result of import restrictions following the nationalisation of the YPF oil company owned by Spanish firm Repsol.
The Department for International Development (DfID) has claimed that ‘no UK aid is spent providing loans to Argentina’, a deliberately misleading statement considering Britain’s major stake in the World Bank. As of June 2011, Britain’s total capital subscription was £8.4 billion. £7.8 billion if this was uncalled, but is still a concrete commitment which enables the Bank to borrow affordably, and for which British taxpayers are effectively accountable.
In response to a Parliamentary question from Priti Patel MP, the Government has stated that
“The Inter-American Development Bank currently has outstanding loans to Argentina valued at $10.6 billion. The UK has a 0.96% shareholding at the Inter-American Development Bank. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development currently has outstanding loans to Argentina valued at $5.6 billion. The UK has a 4.5% shareholding at the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.”
Considering the outstanding loans to these two Institutions in conjunction with the respective British shareholdings, taxpayers are responsible for over $350 million, or around £225 million. Further World Bank loans to Argentina must stop, and Britain must take a stand. We urge you sign this e-petition and stop British funding to Argentina.
By Stephanie Lis
- The Freedom Association’s Magna Carta Pimms and Politics Cruise on June 15, 2013 12:30 pm
- Conservative Renewal Conference on September 14, 2013
- The Freedom Zone on September 30, 2013
- The Freedom Zone on October 1, 2013
- Christmas Lunch in the Cotswolds on December 7, 2013 12:30 pm
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