Privatisation consultants profiting from UK aid abuse

27 September 2004 - 2:15pm
Press release

The report - Profiting from Poverty: Privatisation consultants, DFID and public services - reveals how consultancy firms such as PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu have all won vast sums in 'aid-funded business' to direct the privatisation of water, rail, electricity and postal services in developing countries.

Since 1997, the UK?s Department for International Development (DFID) has also paid over £34 million from the aid budget to Thatcherite think-tank the Adam Smith Institute.

Report author John Hilary, Director of Campaigns and Policy at War on Want, said:

"There is a solid body of evidence showing that privatisation of public services increases poverty in developing countries. DFID's mission is to eradicate poverty, yet it has taken the lead in promoting the privatisation of public services worldwide. UK aid money should not be given away to privatisation consultants. The aid budget must only be used for genuine poverty reduction initiatives."

At its fringe meeting today (29 September) at the Labour Party conference in Brighton, War on Want will challenge Hilary Benn MP, Secretary of State for International Development, to:

  • Stop imposing privatisation on developing countries as a condition of development assistance.
  • Establish an independent commission to take evidence on the impact of public services privatisation in developing countries.
  • To refrain from awarding new privatisation contracts to consultants until this commission has reported its findings.

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