Stephen Ladyman, the MP for South Thanet, has joined the Jubilee Debt Campaign to stop vulture funds profiteering from Third World debt.
Stephen is supporting a bill being presented to Parliament to stop financial institutions from making multi-million pound profits out of the debts of some of the poorest countries in the world.
The Developing Country Debt (Restriction of Recovery) Bill, a ten minute rule bill with cross-party support, is presented in Parliament tomorrow (Wed April 6th). In recent years at least 54 companies are known to have taken legal action against 12 of the world’s poorest countries. Most notably the vulture fund Donegal International, based in the British Virgin Islands, won $15.5 million through the courts in repayment for Zambian debt it bought for $3.3 million.
The Bill provides for:
An end to hedge funds and other investors buying up Third World debt at cut-rate prices and then suing developing country governments through the UK courts for the full amount.
Reporting arrangements to the UK and developing country governments.
Transparency over who is involved in the funds.
Stephen Ladyman said: “It cannot be right that the mega-rich should be able to exploit the poorest people in the world. That is exactly what these vulture funds have been doing and it has to stop.”
Nick Dearden of Jubilee Debt Campaign, which has been leading the campaign against the vulture funds, said: “It’s completely wrong that the vultures should be able to scavenge money meant for some of the poorest countries in the world. MPs’ support is important in putting a stop to the profiteering.”
In the picture Stephen Ladyman MP and a vulture outside Parliament. The vulture is on the right!