Jun 2012 07

We are calling for the British Government to oppose any further World Bank loans, underwritten by British taxpayers, to Argentina. Our new campaign includes an e-petition on the UK Government’s official website and we have published new research looking at the scale of the funding. British taxpayers’ money is supporting loans to Argentina on a substantial scale, over £225 million. This is despite recent attacks from the Argentinian government on British interests, including advocating a boycott of British goods, and disputing the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands. Moreover as a middle-income country, Argentina has no pressing humanitarian need for aid.

Click here to sign the petition
Click here for more details about financial assistance to Argentina

We have also released a video to highlight the petition and to explain how British taxpayers support Word Bank loans to Argentina. You can watch the video here or at the top of this post.

The text of the petition is as follows:

Stop British taxpayers’ money supporting World Bank loans to Argentina

Responsible department: Department for International Development

Despite repeated attacks on Britain and the right of Falkland Islanders to remain British, Argentina receives substantial loans from the World Bank, an organisation in which Britain is a major shareholder. But the Government does not use our votes to oppose those loans.

The Government has told Parliament that, as of March 2012, total outstanding loans to Argentina from the World Bank were $16.2 billion. That means Britain’s share of the outstanding loans is over £200 million, based on our shareholding in the two World Bank institutions lending to the country.

The Obama Administration in the United States has already announced a policy of voting no to any new loans thanks to Argentina’s failure to respect its obligations to earlier lenders. We call upon the British Government to – at the very least – support that and vote against any new World Bank loans to Argentina

We need your help to collect 100,000 signatures to ensure that the issue is debated in the House of Commons. Please help make this happen by sharing the petition far and wide.

Click here to sign the petition
Click here for more details about financial assistance to Argentina

Outstanding loans from World Bank institutions to Argentina were worth $16.2 billion in March 2012. Based on shareholdings in the two responsible institutions, that implies British taxpayers are responsible for over £225 million in loans to Argentina.

Britain would not be isolated in voting against any new loans to Argentina.

The Obama Administration in the United States currently has a policy of voting against any new loans, in response to Argentina’s treatment of existing creditors. British representatives should be instructed to support that policy. The Argentinian Government’s actions have also angered other nations. Following the nationalisation of the YPF oil company owned by Spanish firm Repsol, and in response to import restrictions, the European Union has filed a suit against Argentina with the World Trade Organisation. That implies there would be broader support for action.

Britain can and should act to stop further World Bank loans to Argentina. This is a key opportunity to show that our aid policy reflects rather than ignores Britain’s broader national interests.

Robert is Campaign Director, responsible for promoting the TPA's work in the media and offering day-to-day reaction to the latest news stories.

  • Guest

    I agree with the sentiment and will sign the petition, but please, that video is over dramatized twallop. Any reason for the “xfactor” style music in the background?.. you know the one… the music that plays when a contestant has a battle with life…etc etc… and the images of flags burning… seriously. It would be better to just state the facts non dramatically if you want to be seen to take this seriously.

    • Brechiner

       The facts are, we do not fund the World Bank. We are ONLY underwrite loans, which are ALWAYS paid back and have been the 20 or 30 times we have done this for Argentina over the decades. Shouldn’t the TPA focus on getting tax dodgers/avoiders tom pay their DUE tax so everyone pays far less tax? We are paying £100 a week EVERY WEEK to fund the avoiders and the TPA says nothing, zippo, nula, nic, naff all…

      • http://twitter.com/mjhsinclair Matthew Sinclair

        British taxpayers’ money is provide both called and uncalled support to the World Bank, see the research note:

        And the TPA has done extensive work about how to produce a tax system where everyone pays their fair share, particularly with the new 2020 Tax Commission report.

        • Brechiner

          The richest elites and companies avoid paying £120 Billion a year. How does the TPA propose to stop that?

      • tinamac

        The dodgers and avoiders, who are generating income for themselves, keeping their dependants, possibly paying employees, and who are likely rarely free of tax altogether will get my vote any day over the people who I know who don’t work, have no intention of working and delight in talking about how oppressed and vulnerable they are and how they have manage to dodge work for yet another year and if they could only keep it going till they “retire”.

  • Brechiner

    We don’t FUND the World Bank. How ridicluous to suggest so. Who believes these astroturf groups anyway? No one with a working brain…

  • FreeThinker1984

    I’ve just signed the petition. In addition to stopping these loans I also think it’s important to stop selling weapons to these countries with bad human rights records, as they could use them to attack innocent people.

    • Brechiner

       Like what Thatcher did with Iraq during the 1980s when Iraq failed to pay their £735 Million in EC Guarantees? Now we supply places like Bahrain…

  • Brechiner
  • tinamac

    Funding to Argentina possibly keeps situations from getting worse, I am suspicious of adopting US posture, they are inevitably self serving. while I’m not saying they are wrong to be so, what is good for the US isn’t necessarily good for the UK.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sall.farmer Sally Farmer

    You sld take a look at this
    and ask yourself why does the government refuse to create a social fund at the
    bank and relieve vicious welfare cuts AND allow people to pay MUCH LESS tax.?
    This has to be the issue of the century.