Patel’s aid for trade approach is ‘utterly wrong’

25 October 2016 - 10:45am
Press release

Responding to the news that in reviewing the aid budget International Development Secretary, Priti Patel, suggests we use the budget to help pave the way for post Brexit trade deals, Vicki Hird of War on Want, said:

"Any suggestion that the wheels of corporate led trade deals should be oiled by the aid budget is utterly wrong. Such deals benefit multinational corporations and external investors by removing power from countries to protect their own industries and services.   

"Yes, DFID’s mission needs to be reviewed – aid is being used to promote the interests of multinational companies in Africa, rather than fighting poverty and inequality – but that review needs to ensure the aid budget is only used for genuine poverty reduction initiatives, such as support for small-scale farming, rather than boosting the profits of big business.

"If Patel really wants to help developing countries, she would push for an immediate abolition of the UK’s own global network of tax havens, which fuel secrecy and corruption, and push for public country by country reporting to tackle the lack of transparency in the global financial system."


Notes to editors

For more information or interviews, contact Ross Hemingway on +44 7983 550728


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